Arresting comedy

By Ken Perrott 12/04/2010

We are advised to take what we read in the newspapers with a grain of salt. For good reason. So the headline Richard Dawkins: I will arrest Pope Benedict XVI was suspicious. It turns out Dawkins had very little to do with the story. He explained:

“Needless to say, I did NOT say “I will arrest Pope Benedict XVI” or anything so personally grandiloquent. You have to remember that The Sunday Times is a Murdoch newspaper, and that all newspapers follow the odd custom of entrusting headlines to a sub-editor, not the author of the article itself.”

Well, we are all used to Dawkins being misrepresented. However, the headline did spark interest. Social media like Twitter were abuzz with comments and stories on Pope arrest.

Followers of Graham Linehan got a rare view of the creative mind of comedy writers in his tweets on the issue. Linehan is a television writer, most noted for his involvement in Father Ted, Black Books and The IT Crowd. I have always enjoyed the last two.

Graham’s twitter comments were probably partly responsible for the rush of interest in the #PopeArrest tag last night. I have reproduced them below. You can see there is a great comedy drama in his ideas:

  1. “Dawkins and Hitchens hope to arrest the Pope when he visits Britain between September 16 & 19.” /via @allisonkilkenny via Tweetie
  2. That sentence about Dawkins and Hitchens…you’d be surprised how long I was laughing at that. I’m all for it, though. Good luck, fellas via Tweetie
  3. It’d be really funny if they unexpectedly suceeded and ended up driving him around for hours, unsure which police station to go to via Tweetie
  4. “I think he wants to go to the toilet, Peter, we’re going to have to pull over via Tweetie
  5. “No, I didn’t bring food! I didn’t think we’d get this far! Buy him some onion rings when we next stop. Jesus, this is a mess.” #popearrest via Tweetie
  6. “We. Are. Not. Going. To. Hurt. You! Do. You. Want. Onion. Rings?” #popearrest via Tweetie
  7. “All right, he’ll have to stay the night at your place. What? Well we can hardly go to mine! I’ve got Martin Amis over!” #popearrest via Tweetie
  8. “Martin, listen, we’ve got someone in the car and we need you to be cool about it, all right?” #popearrest via Tweetie
  9. “This. Is. Martin. Amis! Money? He. Wrote. A. Book. Called. Money! No?” #popearrest via Tweetie
  10. “I know it’s not ideal, but Martin…Martin, I KNOW it’s not ideal…but the top bunk is very comfortable!” #popearrest via Tweetie
  11. “What about The Information? Do. You. Know. A. Book. Called. The. Information? Hello? I know you’re not asleep.” #popearrest via Tweetie
  12. “Will you two PLEASE go to sleep!?” “He’s pretending he’s not read any of my books!” “Go to SLEEP!” #popearrest via Tweetie
  13. The End. #popearrest via Tweetie

I really hope this does end up on TV.

See also:
Graham Linehan on Twitter
Website Why That’s Delightful
Graham Linehan interview on CarPool
Arrest the Pope on Facebook


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