As the headline broke that disgraced Cardinal George Pell would stand trial for historical sexual offence charges, smartass comedy writers across Australia have leapt for joy, sharpening their pencils in preparation for incisive monologues.
Reports indicate the offices of Tom Ballard’s Tonightly were full of whoops, excitable yelling, and cries of “Here we go boys!” as Victorian magistrate Belinda Wallington has ruled there is enough evidence for the possibility of Pell’s conviction. One 27-year old, inner-city progressive writer, comedian, and podcast host, Mark Angusvale, declared today as a ‘true victory for all clever comedians in Melbourne and Sydney… and also, you know, the victims of Pell’s crimes.’
‘To be honest, when the news broke, I peed a little. I started sharpening my pencils - I would’ve started sharpening my wit, but it’s already as sharp as can be!’ Angus continued on, despite our attempts to desperately leave the interview.
‘Whenever I see someone bleeding, my first instinct is ask if they’ve been cut by my sharp wit! Never fails - it’s a killer! Ha ha,’ he grinned in a smug, well-dressed way.
When Pell was previously in the news, countless comics had an absolute field day, leading to today’s excitement for those young ones who missed out last time. As excited as Mark and his brethren are, it has been a tricky day for them trying to figure out what their hot take should be. A cartoon of Pell and Dennis Ferguson, asking “Spot the difference?” has been rejected as “not witty enough,” whilst a sketch where Cardinal Pell shares a lasagne with the Devil has been rejected as “insufficiently savage.”
Looking for inspiration, Mark turned to his shrine of Tim Minchin, Wil Anderson, and Geoffrey Rush, praying for inspiration from Australian icons of humour and intellectualism. Conveniently ignoring that Rush has faced sexual harassment allegations, Mark begged these three men to strike him down with the joke that would blow the socks off Australia.
He found it. On tomorrow’s episode of Mark’s podcast, Mark My Words (AKA ‘Girt by Sea, Hurt by Me’), he will begin by boldly proclaiming ‘I had coffee yesterday with George Pell, and Joseph Stalin. One was a despicable monster, bringing pain and anguish to the lives of millions, causing grief and suffering wherever he went… and the other was a socialist icon!’
All reports seem to indicate Mark’s five listeners, fellow workers at the ABC and/or Junkee and/or Pedestrian.tv and/or definitely not Triple M, will be absolutely thrilled at the wordplay.
Hopefully, no more to come.