Home Entertainment Why the BBC can’t kill Mrs Brown’s Boys: comedy boss finally appears to admit the show isn’t funny – but orders MORE episodes because ‘millions still watch it’

Why the BBC can’t kill Mrs Brown’s Boys: comedy boss finally appears to admit the show isn’t funny – but orders MORE episodes because ‘millions still watch it’

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Mrs Brown's Boys is regularly criticized as

It seemed like an easy question for the BBC’s comedy director: Do you find one of the comedies you oversee funny?

But Jon Petrie’s silence when asked about BBC classic Mrs Brown’s Boys in a Q&A earlier this week sheds light on a bigger question: Who? does Do you really like the show and why does it divide TV audiences like nothing else?

The comedy, which has been on air since 2011, is regularly criticized as “unfunny”, “predictable” and “vulgar”, but still attracts millions of viewers and has been a BBC mainstay for more than a decade.

A cheeky audience member incited controversy at a question and answer session for the BBC Comedy Showcase at Soho House on Tuesday, telling Petrie: ‘Can I ask, as head of comedy, do you really find Mrs Brown’s Boys funny? And would you watch it if it wasn’t necessary?

Mrs Brown’s Boys is regularly criticized as “unfunny”, “predictable” and “vulgar”, but remains a long-running hit.

Characters Cathy Brown (Jennifer Gibney), Mrs Brown (Brendan O'Carroll) and Father Damien (Conor Moloney) in the 2020 Christmas special

Characters Cathy Brown (Jennifer Gibney), Mrs Brown (Brendan O’Carroll) and Father Damien (Conor Moloney) in the 2020 Christmas special

The TV executive laughed awkwardly before the host, comedy writer Michelle de Swarte, stepped in to rescue him, saying: “It’s a trap.” He is a trap. Look at me. That’s a trap. Next question.’

It’s certainly not hard to find people who hate Mrs Brown’s Boys, whose return to our screens last year was met with scathing comments about X.

“Today is a sad day for the human race, a new season of Mrs Brown’s Boys begins tonight,” wrote one user.

A second added: ‘The entire nation does NOT love Mrs Brown’s Boys at all. I consider it nonsense and totally unfunny.

Professional critics have been even more scathing, criticizing the show for its “trite comedy tropes” and “weak jokes.”

After his awkward Q&A appearance on Tuesday, Petrie issued a statement the next day praising Brendan O’Carroll, the show’s writer and star, for “creating the iconic comedy character” who had “made me laugh many times.” “.

He added: ‘Seeing Mrs Brown’s Boys live is an unforgettable experience. “I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to witness it and I am proud to have it on the BBC comedy show.”

But the damage had already been done, raising suspicions that even the man in charge of the BBC’s comedy production doesn’t like the show.

Jon Petrie, BBC comedy director

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Jon Petrie, the BBC’s director of comedy, was unable to respond when asked if he thought the show was funny. In the photo on the right, O’Carroll appears on a chat program.

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This would come as no surprise to his many critics, one of whom once took to social media to declare: “I haven’t met a single person who doesn’t think Mrs Brown’s Boys is the biggest pile of rubbish that ever existed.

However, in truth, many do.

Mrs Brown’s Boys: the ingredients of an improbable comedy

Mrs Brown’s Boys tells the story of loud and raunchy Irish matriarch Agnes Brown, played by Brendan O’Carroll, who is seen meddling in the lives of her six children.

Described by the BBC as “cheeky and slapstick”, the show has a loose production style, with characters regularly breaking the fourth wall.

O’Carroll’s unlikely inspiration for the character of Mrs Brown was her mother, Maureen, who raised 11 children and embarked on a pioneering political career that saw her rise to become the head of the Irish Labor Party.

Other characters include Harold Brown, better known as Grandfather, who has a deep rivalry with Agnes, the long-suffering eldest son Mark Brown, and Rory Brown, the third child and the only homosexual in the family, a fact that no one except Agnes acknowledges.

The show reached its peak audience of 11 million in 2012 and 2013, then in 2017 it was the most watched TV show on Christmas Day with 6.8 million viewers.

It may have fallen to 4 million viewers last Christmas, but it remains undoubtedly one of the BBC’s biggest comedy hits to grace (or charm) screens for over a decade.

O’Carroll has vowed to continue making more Christmas specials, telling the Daily Star: “As long as the BBC keeps asking, we’ll keep making episodes.”

And he responded to his critics of the latest festive offering by pointing out that the show still has millions of loyal fans and has been praised by parents of children with autism.

He told BBC Sounds: “First of all, I’m very aware that comedy is very subjective. What some people like, others just hate. So I don’t take it too seriously.

‘When we started… around the fourth or fifth episode, we got a couple of letters from people who had autistic children.

‘It started with a couple of letters and now there have been more than 3,000. And they said her children saw Ms. Brown and heard them laugh in context for the first time.

‘A woman said she was in the kitchen and heard her son laugh for the first time. So when you get a letter like that, I don’t care what the critics say. That will be enough for me.

Fans of Mrs Brown and her chaotic household would agree, with online comments suggesting it looks like a bit of light-hearted fun in serious times.

‘Say what you want about Mrs Brown’s Boys, but we all need a bit of light-hearted, sometimes silly comedy. ‘She made us smile tonight!’ wrote a user

Others called it “hysterical” and accused critics of being “snobs.”

So it’s clear that despite their growing legions of enemies, Mrs Brown’s Boys look set to soldier on for a while yet.

But what do YOU ​​think of the program? Share your thoughts in the comments below…

A controversial moment in the 2023 Christmas special in which actor Danny O'Carroll (playing Buster Brady) kissed O'Carroll, his real-life father.

A controversial moment in the 2023 Christmas special in which actor Danny O’Carroll (playing Buster Brady) kissed O’Carroll, his real-life father.

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