What Went Wrong With… Romesh Ranganathan & Ethnic Self-Hatred In Comedy?

Caricature of stand-up comedian Romesh Ranganathan by

Romesh Ranganathan is the type of comedian who loves to vacillate almost schizophrenically on the topic of race, culture, and identity. His jokes basically affirm that he’s 100% British and he incessantly speaks about how he’s at odds with his family’s heritage, worse still he serves up this type of nonsense whilst simultaneously mocking the race he apparently has no affinity with. With English being his mother tongue, not being able to speak his ancestral language, being married to a white woman, and performing to a predominantly white audience, Romesh’s routines are heaving with racial ambivalence. Watch one of his shows and you’ll hear him going on and on about how his mother calls him a “coconut” (brown on the outside but white on the inside) although with such a bulbous face that slang term is an insult to any fruit or drupe.

Now I don’t particularly care if someone is “in touch” with their ethnic origins or not, but it’s the way in which Romesh communicates this idea that I take issue with. To reinforce the fact that he feels detached from his Sri Lankan roots he routinely sees fit to speak “foreign” which to Ranganathan since he doesn’t speak Sri Lankan is a weirdly offensive, stereotypical mumbo-jumbo almost as if he’s channelling a dead white comic from the seventies. Whenever Romesh delivers this type of comedy not only is he not funny, he is basically standing there and cooning in front of white people (or whatever the Sri Lankan equivalent of cooning is). His horridly one-dimensional portrayal of a South Asian is so stereotypical in fact, that he makes Dev Patel’s head-wobbling roles look positively nuanced and sophisticated.

And that is just the tip of the white iceberg, for Romesh is also the type of minority who if the opportunity presents itself is oleaginous to prejudiced people. Not only did Ranganathan suck-up to the racist prick Prince Harry at the Royal Variety Performance, he even told a joke in one of his routines (as part of BBC’s Live At The Apollo) which stated how society should allow old white people to be racist since they somehow have earned the right. Since Ranganathan is stuck in the arse-licking past, he never once mentions that “old” people these days are those who have grown up in the sixties. Not that people from any particular generation have the right to be hateful, but I’d love to know which part of the baby boomer’s lives have given them the right to be racist. I’d like to see Romesh pull a slide-rule out of his fat ex-teacher’s arse and make sense of that shite.

All this subservient, self-hating, and self-deprecating bullshit begs the question… what the fuck is going on with contemporary comedy? The entertainment business really has devolved, especially stand-up comedy, we have numerous white “comedians” telling racist jokes and at the same time comedians of colour seem to merely exist in order to take or amplify the bigotry (watch any Comedy Central Roast for proof). Worse than that, these twats seem to voluntarily offer up their own race as a valid source of derision (remember Chris Rock’s “there’s a difference between black people and niggers” joke?). These idiotic race-traitors are oblivious to the fact that if you deliver these types of jokes to a white audience, the bigoted ones will go away and assume they have carte blanche to be prejudice since a person of colour has “approved” this kind of behaviour. These sellouts need to realise that they are the modern equivalent of Charlie Williams, they may think speaking in a caricatured accent and stereotyping their race is funny but to all the racists in the audience this strangely reinforces their prejudice ideas whilst showing allegiance to a bigoted white society. Like Charlie Williams, Romesh Ranganathan’s routines are the modern equivalent of a black comedian telling derogatory jokes about “coons” and “pakis” searching for acceptance within a racist white audience as though his own confused persona is somehow devoid of colour. Is he sure the racists are laughing with him or at him? The man is a fucking moron if he thinks it’s the former.

Ro Mess.


11 replies »


    • Fuck me, that reply was so contrived – say something against the white majority or people conforming to the white establishment and people like you jump to that clichéd “white guilt” or “reverse racism” argument. The fact that I’m not white makes your shitty little comment null and void. I suggest getting a brain transplant, double stat!

  2. On the topic of the Chris Rock joke (black people v niggas) I’ve read that he won’t perform that routine any more because of the way racist white people reacted to it:

    “By the way, I’ve never done that joke again, ever, and I probably never will,” says Rock. “‘Cause some people that were racist thought they had license to say n—–. So, I’m done with that routine.”

    You’re absolutely right, I think minorities especially POC need to tweak their routines when playing to a white audience.

  3. Forget Romesh being a “sellout” to appease white people. He quickly goes from slightly funny and quirky to outright demented. In his showtime documentary, he let people film gay porn in the home his family was staying in. He let strange men have sex in the room his sons were sleeping in. He is truly sick in the head and I don’t think they should be giving him anymore airtime or opportunities for comedy. To think that this man was a teacher and in charge of students makes me sick.

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