Scottish comedian feels the wrath of students

Scottish comedian feels the wrath of students

A TOP Scottish comedian has been branded a bully and banned from performing at Stirling University after jeering a transvestite in the audience of a recent gig.

The Reverend Obadiah Steppenwolfe III, who is known for his politically incorrect humour, provoked the wrath of students when he repeatedly joked about the appearance of a student who was sitting in the front row of the student union gig.

Stirling University Student Council voted to ban him from performing at any union events and to propose a motion urging the National Union of Students in Scotland to do the same for all affiliated Universities.

After the decision is ratified at the next council meeting, a motion will be proposed to NUS Scotland, which if passed, will see the comedian banned from a further 15 student unions.

In response to the move the comedian, real name Jim Muir, has invited the complainants to an open debate at The Stand Comedy Club, pledging that whoever wins the battle will take home the ticket money.

The row developed after a recent show where in one expletive-laden rant he called the student ‘f*****g weird’ and asked the audience if they agreed.

Mark Cullen, Vice President Services and Treasurer of Stirling University Students Association (SUSA), booked the controversial comedian. He said: 'There is nothing that the student movement takes more seriously than equality and he was essentially a bully. I regret booking him. We all accept that comedy will often be cutting edge and controversial but there is a line of decency and respect that was grossly crossed.'

However the self-defined transvestite student at the centre of the controversy was less scathing. He said: 'I really didn’t mind that much but I suppose he went a bit far. When every second joke was about me it was a bit far. But he’s a comic, he’s trying to get people to laugh and it’s an opportunity. I was more offended by the Islamic jokes to be honest. He was quite rude to a lot of people and he wasn’t that funny.'

Many student representatives including Mark Charters, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) officer at Stirling University, spoke out against the comedian.

Mr Charters, who proposed the ban, said: 'Humour is humour but at the point when you base your whole comedy sketch on one specific part of society, the LGBT community, and then victimise one person for being a transvestite that’s just wrong. We believe that the union should place a permanent ban on the comedy act in question and NUS Scotland should inform other unions about this act and how it breaks the equal opportunity policy. It’s our duty to do this.'

When asked to comment on the allegations the comedian said: 'The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing the world that he didn't have tits.'

The debate will take place at The Stand Comedy Club, Glasgow, on March 23. It has not yet been confirmed if the students will take up the challenge.

Comments

1. lex3 Mar 2009, 3:04pm Report

I seen this guy in December at the stand in Glasgow, I totally understand that by entering a comedy club there is always the chance that you may be picked on.
However when this comedian singled out and more or less based his whole act upon a young man in the crowd that had terminal cancer both myself and my friends had to walk out, there werent many laughs and the atmosphere was just uncomfortable.

2. Jojo Sutherland5 Mar 2009, 9:51am Report

I read, with interest, the comment above as I was also at the stand comedy club on the night that lex refers to and would like to point out that the rev did not "single out" the young man in question but rather acknowledged and reacted to information that he had been given, firstly by the compere who had been talking to them at the beginning of the show and also by the fact that there was a sizeable group all wearing "team chris t shirts" who were happy to divulge the reason they were all there. If lex and friends hadn't felt the need to walk out then they would have been witness to what was a very funny and enlightening exchange resulting in chris saying that he had had a brilliant night and found it really funny.
comedy is subjective and everybody has the right to like or dislike something but i do feel that being offended and dismissing an act on behalf of someone else who wasn't actually offended or upset - in fact quite the opposite- is at best naive.
with regards to the original article i think protecting peoples rights is very important but it's worth checking that the people in question feel they need to be protected before riding off on a moral crusade

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