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Why Won’t Dapper Laughs Learn?


Just when you thought Dapper Laughs had gone back to the slimy roadside ditch that he no doubt arrived from, he pops back onto the scene with another retina-scarring interview.

Speaking to the Sunday Times Magazine, Dapper, real name Daniel O’Reilly, addressed the thought process behind his ‘comedy’ with all the remorse of a scalded child, saying, “I’m taking the piss out of insecurities of men – that’s the basis for the comedy. Women hold all the power”.

Obviously, there are a lot of things wrong with this.

Firstly, his suggestion that women hold all of the power, that strange audacity to suggest that being a human ball of hate-faeces equates to the highlighting of common insecurities and empowers women, fails to translate.

This is a man who once told an audience member that she was “gagging for a rape.”

Who’s in the power-position there? The woman in the centre of a baying (and tragically paying) crowd of drunkards or the Mockney Svengali calling her out from a stage, mic-in-hand and frothing at the mouth for the affection of his minions?

Expanding further on the crumbling of his burgeoning comedy career he attempts to swerve all responsibility by later saying: “Not once was I invited to learn more about sexual violence, rape and sexism and the problem with the attitude of men. Instead of attacking me, why not educate me?... But I haven’t been, instead I’m told to fuck off and stop my comedy.”

Does he really need someone to tell him that sexual violence, rape and sexism is wrong? If that’s genuinely what O’Reilly is saying then not only is it concerning, it’s terrifying. It’s the kind of thing felons in True Detective come up with, only instead of it happening in a Texan jailhouse it’s kicking off in a trebles bar.

His statement is devoid of any modicum of responsibility or humility. He might as well have walked out and screamed “I'LL DO WHAT I WANT IF YOU DON’T STOP ME” while urinating all over the interviewer’s Dictaphone.

Back when the original DapperGate kicked-off, 68,000 people signed an online petition to get him off our tellyboxes. On another occasion, 1,000 people signed a petition to stop him from peddling his misogynistic jester-ware at a gig in Glasgow, along with several other similar situations.

That’s a hell of a lot of people trying to tell one person that they’re doing something wrong, how did he not miss that?

The fact of the matter is that people did try to educate him, he was just blind with dubious moral groundings. If Dapper genuinely wanted to make it right he wouldn’t be raging against society failing to educate him, he’d be volunteering for a rape charity. Instead he’s tweeting about “batting off birds” while on holiday.

Many claim that Dapper is just one of the lads: a purveyor of working class grit, holding up two fingers to the man. That the outrage is the overreaction of the middle class and left wing. It’s not.

It’s the outrage of normal and balanced people. As a man that spent his defining years growing up in the perpetually depressed Rotherham, I can honestly say that working class people do indeed still find rape offensive. It’s kind of a universal taboo.

Still, there will always be those that decry it as ‘political correctness gone mad’, that it’s all clearly just a joke. And herein lies the thin fragile line of comedy – humour is supposed to push boundaries.

It’s supposed to make you think, but to do that, it needs intelligence. A depth that may be missed but is there nonetheless. It’s what makes performance art, art. Whether it’s a honed study of Stanislavski’s ‘Magic If’ or a mindfulness of structure and sociological impact. Dapper Laughs saying that he ‘should have been educated,’ completely undermines any pretence that his act may have been that of a carefully constructed character.

It says: ‘no thought went into any of this and there is no bigger picture.’ Dapper can pretend all he wants that he was purveying some kind of clever parody of men but I’m not buying it.

O’Reilly would doubtlessly argue against this - after all, he continues to not take responsibility for his actions. Even his turtle-necked Newsnight apology has since been revealed as a hollow attempted at dousing the flames of his fiery backlash. The only positive to come out of his recent statements is that Dapper is man that would appear to need to be told what to do, to a very fine degree. Arguably this could be a nice position for us all to be in.

I for one take great pleasure in imagining Dapper weeping in frustration and befuddlement because nobody has ever told him not to rub chili in his eyeballs, forcing himself into a fever as the chili gets in his brain and he burns from the inside out.

If you really care about anything you claim to Mr O’Reilly, retire your Dapper Laughs character for good, as you said you would in your Newsnight interview.

Delete every single trace of your so called comedy. It doesn’t have to be the end for you, maybe you have a genuinely funny character in you still. Maybe you don’t. Just stop playing the ‘woe is me’ card and excusing yourself. You made Dapper Laughs, not us.



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