MEDIA WATCH: Thank God for Spitting Image satire because NZ is incapable of being this funny


Jacinda Ardern says ‘sorry to the Uighurs’ in Spitting Image sketch calling out China’s human rights record

The satirical skit, which aired in the UK over the weekend, shows the Prime Minister at a trade summit with China’s leader Xi Jinping and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Xi tells Ardern he is looking forward to a “prosperous trade deal with no questions asked”.

Morrison then dumps a bag of coal on the table stating, “we are just happy to be selling our clean coal”.

Ardern’s puppet – once again dressed as Mary Poppins – then bursts into song with Morrison joining in for the last stanza.

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“Jinping and me, Jinping and me, we’ll do the deal, who cares how the people in Hong Kong might feel,” she sings.

“Jinping and me, Jinping and me, what won’t he buy? So sorry to the Uighurs, we turned a blind eye,” Ardern and Morrison sing in unison.

We couldn’t tell this joke in NZ because it’s obviously a heteronormative white cis male patriarchal attack on a feminist icon, but thank the little baby Jesus that the UK can still make satire that NZ is too cowardly to even think about.

The latest Spitting Image jab at our signing up to China’s economic noose despite China’s appalling human rights record is righteous and brilliant.

NZ can’t make satire like this because we are cowards. 7 Days, The Project, any comedy that doesn’t star Leigh Hart, it’s all weak jokes with no real punchline. The only ones making anything close to poking the fun is the Late Night Big Breakfast whose ‘Womens panel’ was probably the funniest thing ever allowed to be screened on NZ TV.

“If a woman nags you in the forest and no one is around, is she really nagging’?

I fell off my couch laughing.

But The Late Night Big Breakfast is the exception, not the rule. Now comedy is vetted to ensure no one weaker than the joke is offended, Note that the Newshub story has to do a  woke deconstruction of the puppets…

The sketch also sees Ardern’s trusty sidekick – an umbrella with a talking sheep’s head on top – bitten by Jinping’s pet bat, an apparent reference to unverified claims the coronavirus started with people eating bats sold at places such as the Wuhan wet markets.

Blaming the origins of COVID-19 on ‘bat-eating’ has been widely condemned as racist and inaccurate, amid a reported rise in violence and verbal abuse towards people of Asian origin during the pandemic.

…this new puritanical millennial micro aggression policing reeks through all news stories that the graduate kids monitoring the social media feeds of most Newsrooms in NZ are now stained with and it’s become a fixed feature of the Auckland Comedy scene.

Speaking to a male comedian a month ago, apparently there are Comedy Commissars now, female comedians who will turn up at a show and note any jokes that aren’t funny and take them back to the feminist comedy conclave who will humourlessly rate how ‘safe’ your comedy is.

Those who the feminist comedy conclave find are not funny are branded ‘unsafe’ and blackballed.

Personally the idea of a feminist comedy conclave that rates jokes on their safety is the funniest thing I’ve ever heard, maybe we can tip Spitting Image off to it and allow them to do the satire so none of us get into trouble?

In the meantime we can watch Spitting Image and dream of a time when we could be just as free, and most importantly, just as funny.

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  1. “A hollow log is a signal that the forest is dying”

    Jacinda is sounding very hollow right now, and incidentally where is her concern for our “climate change” now at????????
    Was it just another hollow log she expressed as her concern about climate change??????

    Makes us 99% think now.

  2. We have our own human right issues we can’t even deal with, our women prisoners in 3rd world conditions and treated so badly, how do you expect them to reciprocate with kindness, nah! And our Maori incarceration rates we should be ashamed, instead we hear the same old rhetoric ‘you do the crime you do the time’. And what hypocrites we are when someone like Sir Ron Brierly can hold a knighthood at a time when we are looking at Oranga Tamariki and child abuse. In the meantime our leaders continue to rub shoulder with human rights abusers and trade with oil barons who can literally get away with murder. But not here in our kind country we are locking up the Maori and others for lesser crimes and now we are torturing them into submission. Gee who are we to point the finger shouldn’t we clean up our own back yard first.

  3. Watch out Marama is ready to delete you bro.

    Seriously these things are funny because there is a large element of truth in what they say. Anecdotal evidence regarding male comedians doesn’t surprise me. Todd Phillips lamented the same thing has happened in Hollywood and hence the reason why no comedic masterclasses like the hangover are done anymore.

    This new wave of puritanism will have blow black albeit we might have to wait for a few years for this to occur and we might all be castrated by that stage.

  4. NZ Politics has always been bereft of humour. Winston Peters used that fact to gain traction.

    As for supporting “satire” against Ardern. She’s had three years of having her name butchered more than any other politician in my lifetime. She’s had her teeth ridiculed incessantly and been relentlessly referred to in equine terms. Her intelligence has been repeatedly mocked as her leadership skills. For fuck sake, even her kindness is scoffed at. Her baby daughter has also even been referred to as a “bastard” so the Mary Poppins bullshit is no biggie.

    • I’m a supporter of Jacinda too @Jacindafan. Not to the extent I regard her as an oikon yet though (I’m working on it though!!!). I’m pretty sure she’ll be able to cope having a decent sort of bloke as a partner and various other support mechanisms.
      There’ll be life for her after a career in the political space, and there are hundreds, if not thousands that’ll come to the rescue if required. And if not, there’s always the option of hitting a whiskey bottle – I’m told that can obliterate any any thoughts of an emotional deficit in her work-life balance.
      And there’s always the U.N.
      That’d be a cruise far easier for her than what’s ahead in NuZull politics if there isn’t political transformation and kindness to the natives

  5. I’m sure there’s still plenty of lively humour and one off comedy going around, but in private. Even in the depths of the Hitlerist and Stalinist era, certain Germans and Russians had a knack for quietly mocking their leaders and the system.
    Q:How did every Muscovite joke about Joe Stalin start off with in 1947?
    A: With a quick glance over your shoulders.

    And what did George Orwell say about laughter being a form of rebellion in itself?

    • ‘Don’t complain, we need their laptops’ when the bat bites the sheep, is a particularly good touch.

      Standard labour policy, and hasn’t Deborah Russel stated that Kiwi’s don’t care about slave labour as long as they can get consumer goods cheap.?

      I guess human rights are dying, when Neoliberal policy makers think that selling a lamb chop is more important.

  6. Oh you are awful @Martyn! But I like you.
    I really hope you’ve found yourself a safe place. Oooops! I meant safe space, going forward

    As I type, I’m listening to “The Panel”, and I’m deeply deeply offended. Something should be done about it

  7. The use of a far away land to attack a local government is standard fare.

    The UK has no FTA. It only had those the EU had. They are leaving the EU and do not have one with the EU, or anyone else now. They are as pure as the driven snow, or a little lamb atop Mary Poppins umbrella. No corrupt rough trade partners, virgin as.

    From such a lofty place the rest of the world is corrupt. But how to ensure the Brexit dividend – the better NHS the Tories promised.

  8. “Speaking to a male comedian a month ago, apparently there are Comedy Commissars now, female comedians who will turn up at a show and note any jokes that aren’t funny and take them back to the feminist comedy conclave who will humourlessly rate how ‘safe’ your comedy is.

    Those who the feminist comedy conclave find are not funny are branded ‘unsafe’ and blackballed.”

    Christ….this sounds as if it came out of the Monty Python shows. Remember the gangs of grannies?

    Somebody should make sure that the Spitting Image writers get to hear about it, so that they can have their wicked way with it.

    It’s funnier by far than that sketch that is the subject of this post. You couldn’t make this stuff up, could you!


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