It’s always refreshing to hear somebody call out the spin and B-S behind modern day politics, so it’s no wonder that Jonathan Pie, a spoof reporter, has become such a hit on social media. It’s easy to forget that Pie is actually played by an actor, Tom Walker because so many of his infamous outbursts about politics make a lot of sense. His viral videos have trawled up such a positive response, that he organised a stand-up tour which was so popular, that he had to arrange extra dates.
Performing an almost sold-out show, the spoof reporter ended his ‘Back to the Studio’ tour in the Hall for Cornwall in Truro. Co-written by Andrew Doyle, who also happened to be a fantastic warm-up act, Walker’s audience ranged from Remainers to Brexiteers and from young to old. It goes without saying that no matter your political stance or age, everyone appreciates a bit of brutal but honest political satire.
The premise of the show was of Pie trialling an upcoming TV series, of which he explained as ‘Sunday Politics meets Victoria Derbyshire meets Live at the Apollo’. With hopes to bag a deal from the BBC or ITV, Pie instantly lashes out at his stage manager – the show’s production value and use of cheesy music were not up to scratch.
Aggravating him even more, he is distracted by somebody in the audience checking their phone. Pie explodes in a flurry of frustration – people are unable to put their phones away and live in the moment, he says. It ties nicely into the later focus of the show, which raises issues around millennial’s and the culture of being offended.
After recovering from the outburst, he then moves onto the politics. Pie’s first victim, determined by a spinning wheel, was the Conservatives. To everyone’s excitement, Theresa May was one of the first to be on the receiving end of this pissed-off reporter. Walker and Doyle’s tight and seamless script progressed Pie into a full-blown meltdown, which went from insulting her increasingly haggard looks to venting about her hypocrisy in selling off the NHS. She may have been an easy target, but his extensive vocabulary of foul-mouthed insults was a solid crowdpleaser nonetheless.
Sticking to his leftist guns and attacking the right, Pie centres his attention to Donald Trump. With a character like Trump, satire is barely necessary. Just reading out his tweets and correcting the grammatical errors is funny enough – which is exactly what Pie did, but of course, more furiously.
The second half of the show seems to find balance, which as a spoof journalist, is vital. Walker shifts the script away from the obvious and towards something more outrageous and controversial. Playing on dangerous ground, Pie aims his next outburst at millennial’s, or otherwise, ‘liberal people doing illiberal things in the name of liberalism’. In a truly captivating segment, his fury fully unleashes when ripping into Generation Snowflake, and their tendency to shut down conversation and debate between those with differing opinions.
His ‘Woke-a-Lator’, dissects the current obsession with being offended among younger, ‘woke’ individuals – from mansplaining, to cultural appropriation and straight white male privilege.
A hilarious and thought-provoking show, but certainly not for the easily offended.