The GSA’s guide to the Pub Landlord
Recently we announced Mingle all the way with the GSA our massive Christmas online events line up which (I hope) has something for everyone – a festive jazz night, pub quizzes, a New Year’s Eve disco. Not only that but we’ve got a comedy night with some massive names: Al Murray, Iain Stirling, Phil Wang, Ahir Shah and Jayde Adams.
As a long-time comedy fan I think it’s an understatement to say I’m so excited about this line-up. Featuring some of the best comedians to emerge in the UK comedy scene over the last five years as well as a man who’s been knocking it out of the park for over two decades – Al Murray, the ‘Pub Landlord’.
If you’re not familiar with the British comedy circuit, it’s worth knowing a bit more about Murray’s stand up. It’s really interesting (not to mention funny) because his satirical approach addresses a particular area of British culture.
He performs his stand up in the role of a fictional character, simply known as the Pub Landlord, who has a very black and white view of the world. He runs a pub (or so he says) and swigs from a beer tankard throughout the show. A lot of things outside of historically ‘traditional’ norms make the Pub Landlord uncomfortable. Things like working women, gay marriage, and cancel culture, but his biggest beef is with the wider world, and very specifically with the French and the Germans.
His character is based on the long-term grudges based on outdated (and very negative) ideas of empire which some British people still want to believe. He certainly does tell jokes about the Swiss, the youth of today, and the modern world, but they’re all designed to walk a line whereby the biggest joke of all is the Pub Landlord himself.
If this sounds like Al Murray is on a mission to spread hate, he’s really not, he’s here to make you laugh. His attempts to convince us of his beliefs are undermined by Murray’s ability to make him ridiculous. He tries to convince us that God exists because of bacon (he also reckons God speaks English), he ‘accidentally’ throws his beer on the audience, and he praises anyone in the audience with grey hair for fighting in the Second World War (as you can see in the clip below, warning, it features strong language).
Considering the implications of the crossover between comedy and politics, check out Murray’s TED talk (link below), which he did out of character. As Murray has said himself and as you might experience come Friday night, “Comedy probably doesn’t change anything. But it’s worth a punt, isn’t it?”