Irreverent comedy, by people with disabilities, where no topic is safe. I have not been this happy in a long, long time. Finding the ouch! podcast is a special treat. For me, this is as if Monty Python took on the issue of disabilities and gave it proper comedic respect. Yes, I imagine this podcast will not be received by everyone with the same glee as I’ve expressed here. In fact, in show #2 the hosts report some rather unhappy listeners have shared their unhappy thoughts.
Actor Mat Fraser (on left) and comedian Liz Carr (on right) are the hosts. You will laugh. They are brilliant. Both Mat and Liz have disabilities. Actually, the site says that vitually all of those involved with the Web site and podcast are disabled individuals. A recent listener comment on the site stated about the most recent show, “Even better. Coupla ‘Oh my God, you did not just say that!’ moments. Fantastic.” Please listen to it – now!
Mat is, in his own words, “a thalidomide survivor.” Liz is “a wheelchair user.” You have likely never heard a more satirical view of disabilities. Some might call the program a dark comedy. I don’t. It is refreshing, actually. A social satire that, probably, only British comedy can pull off. They poke fun at all of the disability related programming that the BBC has produced in recent years. In particular, they speak of the BBC series of programs called “What’s Your Problem.”
In show #1, Mat and Liz take aim at the Paralympics. Terms like cripple and spastic are tossed about with ease. The show has old-style radio jingles interspersed. One says, “Confined to wheelchair. The ouch! Podcast.” A monthly podcast, Liz and Mat also conduct a gameshow like contest. They describe it on the site as “Another outing for our fiendishly unpleasant quiz, Vegetable, Vegetable or Vegetable. Can Mat and Liz guess ‘what’s up with’ a genuinely disablified member of the public on the end of the phone?”
Mat, in particular, likes to say, “You are very, very brave and special.” Another jingle-like aspect of the podcast is a “buffer/bumper” of someone with a very un-politically correct speech pattern providing the URL to the show’s Web site – “bbc.co.uk/ouch“. Trust me. This podcast has (or will have) all of the socially unacceptable references and parodies of disability. It is not for the faint of heart. Still, I hope you will check it out.
From the site: Ouch is a website from the BBC. Its aim is to reflect the lives of disabled people right here and now in the third millennium.
It’s not a help and support site. If we were to give it a label, it would probably be closest to lifestyle. We pride ourselves on not being a resource for useful information, though I’m sure you’ll find most things you’re looking for here. There are many help and support sites out there that do a fantastic job, far better than we could, so we in the BBC’s Learning & Interacitve department felt it would be good to do something completely different.
We’re about personal stuff, minutiae of everyday life and that fantastic dark sense of humour and inevitable cynicism that we disabled people tend to have. Oh, and we don’t shy away from subjects that other people might be a bit wary of.
The show is barely two months old. Both episodes are available from the BBC site and in iTunes. Go listen now. The shows last about thirty minutes each. I’ve listened to both twice. Best two hours I’ve spent in a long time.
What do you think. Could I get away with this at the Camp ASCCA Podcast? Would I want to even try?