Spitting Image: 1984 – 1996
Created By: Roger Law
Cast: Steve Coogan, Harry Enfield, Hugh Dennis
I’ve spoken more frequently about Spitting Image in recent weeks. Why is that I’ll pretend to hear you ask. Well, quite simply it’s because I’ve been watching it quite recently. I’m catching up on a lot of older films and programmes, so forgive me for looking at stuff from the 80s. But why recommend a show that’s basically just comedy with puppets? Well read on and find out. It’s the only satire show you need.
Some clarification is in order to really understand Spitting Image. During the mid 1980s, Thatcher reigned as the Prime Minister of Britain. There were riots, uncertainty and above all, death. So what better way to deal with this than make a comedy show out of it. Yes, political comedies are my favourite. As I discussed before. Spitting Image had an impact on politics like no other show has.
But let us move away from that, because Spitting Image was a lot more than politics. Try as you might, it’ll always be the show that satirised the world of politics. But it did have it’s say in celebrities around the world. I watched a documentary on the show a while back and apparently Chris Evans wanted in on the show. He also wanted to provide his voice. They refused.
The beauty of Spitting Image is that even when people wanted to be on the show to provide the voice of themselves, they refused. See, the best part of the show was the fact that it had grown to the extent where if you had been ridiculed by the show then you had “made it” in the celebrity world. If your show can get to that extent then you know you’ve got a good show on your hands.
I don’t think any other show currently broadcast has the availability that Spitting Image did. Currently satire shows aren’t lacking, of course not, but I do miss the originality we once had with shows like this. Still, there are some different shows out there, right? Well, not really. As far as I’m aware no political satire show has the same impact as Spitting Image did, and I doubt it ever will.
See, there’s a very fine line between political comedy and political messages. Spitting Image never tried to push anything towards the viewer, rather it took the weekly events and satirised them. It was just a half hour of fun. Nothing more, nothing less. Comedies today do have a message, even though it may be convoluted at best. Still, the best satirical shows can poke fun at the world without having an impact on the viewer, rather it has the impact on the satirised.
Satire without opinion
Anyone who has read my other work on Spitting Image will know that it shaped the image of politics. However there is a difference between shaping the image of politics and shaping the mind and opinion of people. That’s why Spitting Image is the best satirical show to be made. It’s a political satire show that can be enjoyed by any wing you like.
The show was accused of being left wing, and you can probably see why. However why make fun of those not in power? The Conservatives and Republicans were in power, therefore they’re on the cause of ridicule. Unfortunately we never got to see the satirical world of a Labour or Democrat government, the show had ended by then. A damn shame.