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.

26 replies »


  2. There seems to be an awful lot of latent white guilt here, my little friend. I suggest growing a pair of balls, stat. Haha.

    • 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

    • just replacing a customs immigrat officers nationality race color dosnt in anyway change the stats or increase the chances of a non native getting clearance , changing race color of a police officer does not mean you will get less arrests or less persucuted , putting barrrackas oohhbumma in white house did not allow him to start writing up policies on blunt papers nor was he ever allowed to wear nikeys

    • What the fuck has all that shit got to do with a mediocre, sellout comedian?

      I guess only a casually racist prick who makes utterly pointless comments under two unfunny screen names would be a fan of Romesh Ranganathan.

  5. The problem with Romesh Ranganathan isn’t “selling out his race” whatever that means, it’s that he’s NOT FUNNY! And in a comedian, that’s a fatal flaw.
    NOTHING is off the table when it comes to comedy! So-called “woke” comedy is as unfunny as it gets. The ONLY criteria for comedy is….IS IT FUNNY?

  6. And by the way, Chris Rock’s “niggas v black people” skit was one of the funniest he ever did!
    And the only reason he went back on it was because of the flak he received from the “woke” and the targets of his derision!
    Rock was commenting on a problem he saw with his own culture, and in an extremely funny way! And as a great comedian, something he had every right to do.

    • I’m really sick of you “PC Gone Mad” folk. I’m assuming that you’re a straight, white man because that’s usually the demographic of those who yell “comedy was great when we could say anything we wanted” which essentially means “wasn’t it great when white male comedians were allowed to be racist, sexist, and homophobic?” or “wasn’t it great when minority comedians pandered to us and mocked themselves?”.

      Nowhere in the article did I say Romesh SHOULDN’T do this kind of comedy and I didn’t say it should be banned, it’s just a critique of him which if you don’t know is Free Speech: basically SOMETHING I HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO DO.

      Being “woke” is just being aware of what’s going on and criticising something if you don’t like it, and that can be politics, politicians, celebrities, events, AND comedy routines. For all your anti-woke-comedy shtick, I bet you approve of George Carlin or Bill Hicks, right? Everything they did was “woke” too, it just wasn’t called that at the time. And Chris Rock was woke too until he became a sellout. But I guess minority sellouts are preferable to you.

      By the way, I like how folk like you write “niggas” instead of “niggers”, something I’d expect from people of your ilk. How can audience members differentiate between these two spelling variants when this word is spoken? They can’t and that’s why this routine was essentially allowing white people to discriminate and the reason Rock stopped doing it. Chris didn’t blame the “woke” people aka the criticisers, he blamed the racist white people who came up to him and thought it was cool to reiterate what he said:

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

      And finally, you do realise your genius criteria of “is it funny” is subjective, which means something you find hilarious (probably a black man punching himself in the face) other people will detest. You are not the sole judge of what’s funny and that’s probably a good thing.

      Maybe piss off to the Wheeltappers And Shunters and lament over the good ol’ days.

  7. He’s a sellout because the white race makes everyone else feel inferior, resulting in this nonsense, where non-whites reject their own race, culture and heritage, just because they live in a “white country” and hold a western passport. Integration is important. But so is identity.

  8. I never heard enough of his stuff on the race issue – but doesn’t surprise me – Romesh is vile. The way he talks about his parents is a joke and goes way beyond a bit of banter. He’s just a sneering, insecure little tosser, absolutely begging for approval from the worst type of people. To his glee – he is British through and through. But he represents the absolute worst of British people. No wonder America didn’t want him (apparently, he was absolutely gagging to be liked there too). The yanks have a bit more common decency (and that’s saying something).

  9. Chris Rock on the other hand… I don’t believe was pandering for approval from white people and definitely don’t think he is a sell out. I believe the whole n****** joke was misguided – but he doesn’t come from the same place as Ranganathan. Rock has bollocks and will take aim at real issues.

    • It’s pretty naive (and stupid) of Chris Rock to perform a routine denigrating black people to a white audience. What did he think was gonna happen? It’s like Kendrick Lamar complaining that his white audience is singing the N-word.

    • @What Wrong With Or Right With: I do think it was naive, and like I said misguided of Rock to do that joke. Rock can get carried away when he’s on stage and obviously didn’t think about the consequences – he did later and has now said he will not perform those jokes. But Rock is not a sell-out, he’s a massive promoter of anti-racism and has the ability to self reflect as he has done here. Romesh don’t truly give a fuck about racism or the consequence of his jokes; has no conscience and only wants to be accepted and thought of as “cool and edgy” by other insecure dickheads.

    • I agree with you but Rock has form when it comes to naivete. Remember his opening monologue at the 2016 Oscars (the #OscarsSoWhite year)? Dressed in white, he suggested that:

      1. Black people are unemployed (a horrible stereotype) or worse – political black people are unemployed/poor/not worthy of recognition
      2. Anything short of being “raped and lynched” requires zero protesting or is unimportant – which we know is bullshit because every minutia of popular culture affects society
      3. He mocked Jada Smith, a black female’s standing in the industry, to which he gets a big applause from (mainly) white males
      4. Liberal racism is acceptable or tolerable
      5. He generally sucked-up to the establishment – people who didn’t know who the fuck he was back in the I’m Gonna Git You Sucka/CB4 days

      Trivializing black struggle to a white audience has become his shtick the further he’s gone in his career. That’s why I’ve gravitated more toward Dave Chappelle; he still feels daring rather than overtly mainstream, which can easily be interpreted as selling out.

  10. Hang on, have you actually bothered to ask any Sri Lankans whether they find Romesh’s comedy offensive or are you getting outraged on their behalf? Romesh is doing what many comedians do, which is talk about their own life and experiences. He is a guy who is effectively culturally white and middle class but also has links to a world he finds himself alienated from. His response is to make jokes about it.

    Is that really such a bad thing? Are you seriously claiming that Romesh Ranganathan is kowtowing to racists and making Britain more racist?

    • So if I harangued a Sri Lankan person in the streets and asked them for their opinion on Romesh, it would then be okay/not okay for me to write about MY OPINION? What about the other 99.9%? Do I have to conduct a poll? 🙄

      I don’t need to be the same ethnicity as someone to see they’re a sell out.

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