Trigger Warnings – None as far as I can see
I don’t know if my British audience follows the news as much as I do but the latest talk is that Daniel O’Reilly, better known as Dapper Laughs, has “killed” his character after a massive backlash on social media for advocating misogyny, sexual violence and intolerance of the disabled and the homeless with his comedy routine that revolves around the thought processes of the typical hetero-white-male thug from the streets, the kind of guy who tells you he banged your mom last night and refers to himself as a gangsta and a player when other people refer to him as a tosser and a cunt.
Dressed in an outfit strikingly similar to Steve Jobs, Daniel appeared on Newsnight and announced that Dapper Laughs is no more and that the character was a creation intended to amuse a certain demographic (refer to previous paragraph) but when it became a viral sensation, he got caught up in his fame and went over the line into full on dickwad mode. A former entertainer on a cruise ship, he said he was best known for his cheeky chappy persona and that was the foundation upon which he built this thuggish oaf that harassed girls on the street or pretended to be running for his life away from people in wheelchairs.
Understandably, this is a hard sell and I myself have a hard time believing the man’s sincerity, it’s funny he came to this epiphany after losing out on a TV show and having petitions come up left, right and centre to call an end to his tour, which has been cancelled in its entirety after Wales unanimously told him to play with the white lines in the road. Sincere or not, it comes off as backpedalling, especially when he refers to Dapper Laughs as a character when he had previously been using it as a stage name. Daniel probably hoped Dapper Laughs would be lumped in with the likes of Ali G, an ironic creation that openly mocks the stupidity of a certain creed of people for their ignorance, but it hasn’t come across that way to anyone really, everyone has taken the character to be the man, unlike Sacha Baron Cohen’s character, which met with some criticisms but has largely been accepted as a bad joke
I’m not sure what to make of it, kudos to the guy for putting his hands up at any point and he realises he’s ruined his own career by bursting onto the stage with such grace he’d have been better off calling himself Twatty McShittits and dancing in a mankini whilst making racist remarks, at least then nobody would have thought he’s serious and he wouldn’t have made it to TV, more likely he’d have made it to an institution. Dapper Laughs was regarded by his fans as the people’s comedian, which I can understand – no formal education, no middle-class background, no fancy references the layman can’t pick up on, the guy was clearly a performer and may well have had that potential but squandered it by pandering to the lowest denominator, by appealing to all that is base and crude within the average man with jokes about loose vaginas and all gay men being wusses, the jokes you heard the school bullies tell each other whilst they smoked around the back of the bike shed
A working-class young comic would be great, there are young comics and working class comics but rarely do the two meet and comedy is very much an art of intellect so it’s hard to be a comedian without a reasonable level of education and experience of the world. I thought about if I was a comedian for the working-class but I know I’m not, I’m far too pretentious and smug about making jokes referring to Oscar Wilde’s works and such like or paying homage to films and television shows people wouldn’t know about without being a fan of those things, I’m only working class in so far as the financial situation and the eating habits but personality wise, I’m the sort of man who you would expect to have a friend called Percival or who would be pondering whether he’s in the mood for tapas or sushi for lunch
Well, we’ll see what this guy does now but since he’s said he’s going to kill and bury that part of his life for good (which might seem like burning the evidence of his sins but hey, maybe that’s for the best, ten years from now we might see a world that can’t remember Dapper Laughs ever existing) I’m hoping he’ll take some time to rethink his life and his career and if that was not a performance and was indeed the guy himself, his thoughts on disability, homelessness, sexuality and gender stereotypes need some serious work. As one man working towards moving away from his past self to another though, I’ll choose to give him the benefit of the doubt for now and I hope to see his return to the social media being something suitable, maybe some earnest charity work to make amends as a suggestion? Who knows? The best thing to take away from this is that for once decency prevailed over moronic ignorance and a bad influence on our society has been laid to rest