Frankie Boyle just knows how to get himself into trouble. TV’s most controversial comedian put his foot well and truly in it again this week having cracked wise a little too often at the expense of the world’s Paralympians, much to the chagrin of the public.
Despite defending himself on Twitter and his case being championed by other comedians including long time Mock The Week cohort Russell Howard, with the Good News host saying logically “There are far worse things in the world than the jokes that Frankie Boyle writes.”
Howard raises an excellent point though as he also says; “If you don't like him, don't listen to him. If you do, do and enjoy it.”
The trouble is that while fellow comics may respect the Scot’s brashness, it’s not going to be the case with TV execs. They may like edgy, but nothing’s worse for ratings that being hated by the folk in the streets.
While Boyle’s always courted controversy and had his hardcode band of followers, he’s failed so far to recapture the audiences he brought in for panel show Mock the Week.
His solo show Frankie Boyle’s Tramadol Nights, which originally had the inflammatory title Deal With This, Retards until someone had the good sense to change it, was a failure. The first episode may have had a great audience of 1.3 million, but each week after the show bled viewers with Channel 4 deciding to axe the show after its six episode run concluded.
Positioned to become the new face of Channel 4 comedy before the airing of the show, Boyle also managed to throw away a talk show, after making rather ill-conceived jokes at the expense of Katie Price’s son Harvey during the aborted show’s pilot.
Boyle’s loss has been David Mitchell’s gain of course, as the comedian has quickly become one of the channel’s big comedic centrepieces.
With people now calling into question Boyles continued association with the channel, the question raises itself; does Frankie Boyle have a future on TV?
ITV aren’t going to risk their viewership on him, and the BBC might not be the most willing to take him back. Boyle may have a place on the plethora of digital channels, but where? Comedy Central have Lee Evans as their MVP, and Sky might not want to trouble he brings.
In a world where caution rules the roost, only the most daring of TV execs would take a chance of the controversial comedian. If not, then stand-up and Twitter it is then for him.
FemaleFirst Cameron Smith