Tuesday, 10 February 2015




It was just on and so I thought I'd have a look at it - 

comic, hotelier, divorcee and grand thespian, Lenny Henry, on Shakespeare; oh and did I mention that as well as all that other stuff,  he's black? No need, really, he never stops reminding us.

Henry started-out with his usual whine, basically that he was black working class, yet now he was an acclaimed actor. Not 'round here, he's not but never mind

 I only bin in two plays, an' boaf ov 'em wuz by Shaykes-peer.

I never wuz into 'im, continued OafMan. 
But mebbe that wuz becos ov me upbringin'.

The lecture proper commenced with, for the umpteenth TeeVee time, Henry walking past his childhood home, in the Midlands, a perfectly acceptable dwelling, maybe council built, originally, I don't know. Look, he gasped in amazement, pointing at a window, that used to be my bedroom, Henry, so up his own arse that he is heedless that tens of millions of perfectly decent people inhabit such bedrooms, without any shame or amazement. It is a device employed by many in showbiz, the stupider they are, the more likely are they to  wander past their parents' homes, gasping, wow, hooda thought, a genius like wot mine is, coming from a place loike that. Luckiest man alive, Ringo Starr, does it, 

Ozzy Osbopurne and his baggage, Shaz, they do it, 

Billy Connolly and his baggage, Pammy, they gloat about how Billy coulda ended-up a welder.

 Can y'imagine, a welder? It's extraoooordinry, though, isn't it?
Just extraoooooordinry

 Cunts, all of them, on one hand peddling their working class roots, on the other mocking them and those who fertilised those roots.

Lenny - his Dad didn't love him enough - was whinging, as he does, about how, being uniquely black, he got bullied, in the playground. 

 An archetypeal bullied child, wthdrawn and  camera shy.

Unlike all the Irish kids, the fat kids, the ginger kids, the sickly, asthmatic kids, the speccy kids, the limpy kids and don't get me started on the Jewish kids for theirs is a special kind of bullying, with a special name, no, Lenny was bullied like none before or since, just because of who he was. Stupid fucking bastard, even at his age, now, he doesn't know that the playground is the nastiest, most cruel place in the world;  that even the nice kids, whose parents luvem2bits, would do anyfin4em, sometimes gang-up on a weakling, an Other.  No, it was special for Lenny, he's made a career from it, he's still doing it, ranting that there aren't enough people like him on telly, stupid people. He's wrong, of course, most of them are stupid.

He and his film crew went to his old school, where he lectured us about his schooldays' experience of Shaykes-peer.  'E wuz sat, he whined, reminiscing,  in yer typical classfulla disinterested schoolkids.  I turned it off, then.

We don't do the apostrophe jihad 'round here, some people understand them, some people don't, apostrophes, doesn't matter but I think that those who do understand, should demonstrate grammar and language and the BBC should have script-edited Henry's dumb remarks, or maybe his ex-Mrs, 

Dawn French, when she wasn't busy stuffing her face with chocolate 

 or playing house in their working class, 
persecuted black man's gaff,

could have told her husband the difference  between disfuckinginterested and unfuckinginterested, y'know, stop him making a cunt of himself, 
maybe she was uninterested in doing that;
can't blame her, he is  insufferable just on the telly, fuck knows what he's like in real life. Henry's sense of exceptionalism is so exaggerated that he thinks he is the only person ever to have been bullied, ever to have   discovered Shakespeare later in life, so exceptional that a film should be made about it. Stupid ain't the word; thick, racist bastard.

His is one of those bogus Sun newspaper stories; Henry is no actor. What happened was that some down at heel theatre company  up North gave him a gig in the hope that his name recognition factor would put bums on seats, that's all.

And neither is Henry an arts broadcaster,  not by a country mile. If he is entitled to moan that  there aren't enough black faces on telly, then surely we are entitled to remark that one who would lecture the rest of us on  the greatest of English dramatists - whoever or how many he really was -  might first familiarise himself with basic English; it is all about the language. For Henry, acting  is stretching it quite a bit, lit-crit is really taking the piss.


Umbongo said...

But Mr I last year the Critics Circle awarded Lenny the "best actor" prize. However, and apologies for being self-referential here, on Mark Wadsworth's blog in 2011 I commented:
"The Union of London Theatre Critics . . . has decreed that Lenny's acting in Shakespeare makes Olivier look like an "Opportunity Knocks" act. I admit that I wasn't able to catch Lenny in Othello or the Comedy of Errors but friends who did are mystified as to why someone whose acting talents are - let's be charitable here - meagre was cast in the roles Lenny played. If he wasn't chosen for his acting ability what was the criterion on which the producers relied to choose Henry?"
Those same friends (and many others including, it seems, your good self) are still mystified about the accolades concerning Lenny's new career. OTOH I think we can all agree that Lenny's work for Premier Inns has been superb. His portrayal of a hippopotamus in a double bed is without peer.

DtP said...

Ha ha - it's a form of masochism. I remember him on Tiswas and even as a 6 year old thinking - this just isn't funny. Being a over enthusiastic twat may fool adults that they're down with the kids but for kids it's more of a situation of why is this guy acting like a knob? Crikey - we had Keith Chegwin for over-enthusiasm and at least then everyone knew he was displaying his full range and was quite nice about it but Henry always came across as a total egomaniac. But i've no doubt I was a racist child, intent on finding fault where there was none!!

Well done for watching it though - I quite like being furious but seem to get my fill wandering through Leeds train station twice a day - people texting and walking have a special place in my fury.

To Columbine - to imagine pulling out a Kalachnikov and mow everyone down in sight. Henry, though, is so low grade my only reaction is avoidance.

Anonymous said...

I think we've discussed Henry before. I posited the opinion that he isn't a bad actor, based on his performance in "Alive and kicking" where he played a heroin addict. Nor is he a bad man as he bought some slum dwellers in Soweto (or some shithole) a house with his own money. Nobody has to help poor people and generally don't unless they aren't all bad. I concluded that he was a prick but not a cunt, although I recall a fairly convincing rebuttal from Mr I. to this hypothesis.

Doug Shoulders said...

You have a stronger stomach than me Mr Ish.. It would take the return of all the licence fees I’ve paid to make me watch as much a fifteen minutes of that. He is very good in those whatstherename hotel things. I’d say he’s found his calling in that realm of thespianism. Is that his gaff?. S’pose if he’d had a proper upbringing he might have learnt to appreciate his good fortune.
I avoid all those PBC comedians and Comedy shows. Comedians.?...don’t make me laugh. It seems to me the PBC sign up “talent” least likely to succeed. Lenny has been at this for years and still no improvement.

inmate said...

Is that who the cunt is, Mr I? For years I thought he was Theopholis P. Wildebeeste; cunt, thrustin his manly leather codpiece at all and sundry, to great roars of canned audience laughter.
Always thought Henry was trying just that bit too hard to be funny. Never seen him 'acting' never will.

Alphons said...

All he needs is a little "integration". Though with what I know not.
He does provide a yard stick though, don't you think.

Mike said...

Forgiving me for stating the obvious, but Henry only got the gig originally with the PBC because he was black, and the PBC wanted to show its trendy credentials after the era of Wheeltappers abd Shunters, Bernard Manning and the like.

call me ishmael said...

You should know my view of charity by now, mr richard; if everyone knows about it, it ain't charity, just self-publicity. Being historically part of the Ulster Planation, meself, I somehow have a grasp of admonitory scripture which I shouldn't have, pure Paisley, sometimes, me. I do believe, anyway, that Saint Matthew relates the Saviour's definition of charity - your Heavenly Father, He knows if you give to the poor, and He's the only one needs to; when you give, give quietly, not showily, like the Pharisees, in matters of charity, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand is doing.

Geldof, Bono and even Henry, of course, Wogan, too, in their diametrically opposed understanding of charity piss not only on the poor but on their Lord, Godless heathenbastards.

call me ishmael said...

That's what I meant, mr mike; if you gain advantage and advancement merely because of your race - as has Henry throughou his career - then isn't that racism; his eagerness, then and now, to mock his mother, were I to do so he'd be wetting himself in outrage; isn't that racism? Anyone Other has had at least as much crap as Henry claims to own; few have managed to so cynically exploit it; he and the multi-culti Paedophile Broadcasting Corporationn were made for each other.

call me ishmael said...

No, I couldn't watch it, mr doug shoulders, not after "disinterested" pupils but I read the script, it was in the Evening Standard and it was entirely, grotesquely, predictably self-serving inane flatulence, he's a pompous thicko, always was. That Wildebeest caricature he did, mr inmate, I think I only saw it once and shrank from it, thereafter, something a bit Uncle Tom about it. And he is integrated, mr alphons, he married into the Oxbridge MediaTart clan of funny clever people and the PBC. loves him, what else does he want?
I can't help but feel that he is so mad at himself for being black that one day he'll get into a bath with a bottle of bleach and a scrubbing brush. At least poor Michael Jackson was a brilliant dancer and a passable musician, Henry's just a fuck-up, with enemies for friends.

call me ishmael said...

I told you, mr dick. those NewPeople, walk-texting, they are a mutant species. I expect that as their thumbs drop off from overuse they will become extinct, their places being taken by some sort of smug googlecar.

Anonymous said...

The result of his financial assistance was a Good Thing, so you can either look at the crap Chef! or the piss-poor family he lifted out of shit-strewn streets. He didn't have to bother his arse but he did. History doesn't say the same for the Pharisees. I don't like LH much but a man isn't his job so we must - and it's a very rare event indeed - cordially disagree. I stand by my "prick but not cunt" diagnosis.

call me ishmael said...

That's OK, mr richard, the last word shall be yours.

tdg said...

Bertrand Russell only once thought of taking his own life, after a letter from DH Lawrence. I think one of yours might have worked. Shame you were not then living to write it.

call me ishmael said...

Thanks, mr the dyers garden, I will consider that comment - rather like your presence - as a compliment.

jgm2 said...

Fucking hell. Ozzy Osborne grew up in my house.

And he put in double glazing too.

Proper posh bastard, eh?

call me ishmael said...

Nah, that was my house.