Simon Brodkin: Still Not Himself
Brodkin, for someone exiting an institution saturated with privileged ideologues keen to save the world, is a brilliantly sharp satire. Hugo’s irrational hatred of Microsoft but obsession with Apple Macs certainly strikes a chord. Tibet, while high on the ‘to do’ list isn’t the only place in Africa, however, as Hugo informs us. His family also have a house in Rhodesia, which he has just discovered has a sizeable black community.
Hugo also appears alongside the chav Lee Nelson – almost a complete antithesis. While being a more predictable source of jokes, and not as fresh in a post Ali G world, Nelson is nonetheless a good source of humour. Mercenary footballer, Jason Bent, also makes an appearance for a press conference. The continual streams of ‘scouse’ are only interrupted only sharp intakes of breath and foul language. Stephen Gerrard must be looking on in horror.
Dr Omprakesh, the well meaning doctor of a poorly run NHS hospital is a less recognisable character, and the gags become darker as subjects like terminal illness are raised. Nonetheless Brodkin delivers four solid satires for modern Britain, and while some of the material is a bit dry or predictable, he nonetheless keeps it interesting by the continued disappearance and reappearance of his many guises.
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