The Atheist Wretch



Dave Allen:  God’s Own Comedian


In the 60’s and 70’s the BBC were more daring.


Dave Allen told jokes about religion.


‘The sketches were silly but he undermined the authority of the priests’.


He received bomb threats.


He had the Pope doing a striptease.


At a time when the Church ruled Ireland.


Dave Allen thought politicians were dangerous.


He thought the Church was dangerous.


Where is the Muslim ‘Dave Allen’?


And would the BBC let him on air?


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36 Responses to The Atheist Wretch

  1. Guest Who says:

    His joke about the sadist and the masochist I still think one of the cleverest I’ve heard.
    The funny was elevated all the more by his delivery, which was sublime.


  2. Buggy says:

    Surprised to find the Mark Thomas apparently wrote some of DA’s material. Who knew that he ever possessed a discernible sense of humour ? Now long gone obv.


  3. stuart says:

    david allen self mocked and took the piss out of the catholic religion because he was a catholic himself.that was just irony on his part,but what i hate is when these poncy middle class left wing so called comedians appear on the bbc laying into catholics and christians with just pure hatred but never mock islam or muslims because they know what will come there way if they do,that is what i call hypocrisy on there part,


  4. Jerry says:

    I was about to post that!

    Here’s another:


  5. And another says:

    It may be a bog standard studio sitcom but Adil Ray is a muslim who got death threats for writing “Mr Khan”. He still carried on and the BBC still broadcast it. This would seem to be exactly the sort of show you claim the BBC doesn’t broadcast. And yet here it is, in primetime.


    • DJ says:

      Really? The old ‘we get complaints from both sides’ thing?

      Compare and contrast ‘Citizen Khan’ to ‘Father Ted’ and get back to us.


      • Professor Kuntz says:

        ‘The old ‘we get complaints from both sides’ thing? ‘

        I don’t think they got any complaints that it wasn’t insulting enough toward Muslims.

        Given though that Fr Ted was much better.


        • David Preiser (USA) says:

          No, IIRC the complaints from the other side were that this was the BBC sanitizing Muslims again.


          • Mr Brown says:

            So the Biased-BBC argument is “Mrs Brown’s Boys” represents a collective failure of the comedy establishment and the BBC because we never see Dermot joining a splinter cell of the Real IRA and making a pipebomb on the kitchen table? Sounds hilarious. (Mrs Brown’s Boys is a popular BBC sitcom by the way. I guess you could torrent it or buy the box set to find out more)


            • Guest Who says:

              ‘the Biased-BBC argument’

              There are a collection of views around to be sure (see what I did there), rational & a bit of a stretch, but are you referring here to the site owners or another projected broader catchment?


  6. thoughtful says:

    It was interesting to hear on the program that Allen had received death threats not only from the IRA but other groups too.
    We now hear that the BBC won’t broadcast anything even that the Muslims might find offensive because of their violent reaction.

    So what’s changed or is it yet another example of double standards?


    • Professor Kuntz says:

      ‘We now hear that the BBC won’t broadcast anything even that the Muslims might find offensive because of their violent reaction.’

      You heard that on this blog I presume.


    • Guest Who says:

      ‘We now hear that the BBC won’t broadcast anything even that the Muslims might find offensive because of their violent reaction.’
      There’s that ‘we’ thing again. I haven’t. So a linky would be appreciated. To better get a handle on who said it to hear it, context-wise. Rather clearly if, as mentioned, Citizen Khan was getting adverse reactions beyond its comedic merits, this does not seem accurate.
      ‘You heard that on this blog I presume.’
      It’s not unlikely. But again, an assertion to benefit from being backed with a sourced quote if ‘the blog’ is to be called into question generically.
      To better get a handle on who said it to hear it, context-wise.
      Some posters can or allow themselves to get used to drag others under the ‘you lot’ bus.
      And as it can be in an affront/high horse combo, false flag set pieces are not unheard of.


    • thoughtful says:

      Oh dear I did think this was common knowledge so I didn’t bother with a link .

      It was said by Mark Thompson :

      “Without question, ‘I complain in the strongest possible terms’, is different from, ‘I complain in the strongest possible terms and I am loading my AK47 as I write’,” he said. “This definitely raises the stakes.”

      “But he said Islam was a religion “almost entirely” practised by people who already may feel in other ways “isolated”, “prejudiced against” and who may regard an attack on their religion as “racism by other means”.

      I thought this was commonly known ???


      • Berghof says:

        I believe that this is called the smoking gun

        “Asked by his interviewer, Timothy Garton Ash, the historian, that the broadcaster would not air a “comparably satirical” show about as the Prophet Mohammed, he said: “Essentially the answer to that question is yes.”


        • Perhaps this is the smoking gun? says:

          I heard the BBC commissioned and then made a whole cartoon series about Islam and then decided not to show it because the then DG Mark Thompson thought it was “disrespectful”.
          Oh wait. It was a cartoon series about the Pope that he banned.
          Oh well. At least they eventually made some money back on it by selling it to an Italian TV company.


          • Jerry Springer the musical says:

            Read the whole seminar transcript – it’s interesting

            Click to access d_seminar_transcript.pdf

            ALAN YENTOB:
            If he’d thrown in the bible, this maybe a contentious view, I would have to think longer about it because in a way I mean it might offend people, but not offend people in
            the way that throwing the Koran in …
            CLIVE ANDERSON:
            What’s the difference? What’s the difference?
            ALAN YENTOB:
            Okay, because we know, … it is the reaction and the honest truth is, for a
            joke, I mean if I’m being perfectly honest I would say no, don’t do it. I wouldn’t even bother to talk to anybody else about it, I think it would be reckless, and dangerous and it would put..
            CLIVE ANDERSON:
            And the difference is fundamentalist Presbyterians in Highlands of Scotland are not going to go on a riot even though they’re terrifically cross but they may do in the streets of Bradford if the Koran ..


  7. alan says:


    Ah yes, that radical anti islamic joke where islam is pure but boring and the west is decadent, drunken and drug addicted.

    He’s more likely to be renditioned by the CIA than appear on his own al qaeda video!


  8. Sir Arthur Strebe-Grebling says:

    Will the bBBC continue to use Reginald D Hunter on shows like HIGNFY and Live at the Apollo, now that he has offended the bBBC’s second religion – football?


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      And he stood up for the US, even criticizing the UN. Shocking.


      • It's all too much says:

        AND he said that he respected and admired Mrs Thatcher.

        He is currently in the BBC equivalent of a salt mine. Don’t expect to see much of him on the BBC in uture


        • Reed says:

          I like Reginald. Seems like his own man.
          Not many of those in the BBC Comedy dept.


      • Guest Who says:

        Given Reginald D’s avowed breadth of comment topics (some I was not aware of), and how the broadcast community reacts when they don’t suit, how his career Bellamies or not may offer some answers to those pondering how the career of any comedian offered the oxygen of publicity, or not, can be based on how they deliver to expectations or demands of those in commissioning.
        I saw him in a Dave HIGNFY repeat last night. The rictus grin of one Tom Watson at the way he was treating our political elite was not pretty.
        And our Tom seems one who operate in areas of influence with the BBC market rates in back rooms outside the public eye.
        And as Mr. Chiles & Ms. Brand have shown there is no shortage of ‘talent’ ready, willing and able to help management steer hiring or firing.


  9. Richard Pinder says:

    Where is the Muslim ‘Dave Allen’?

    Probably put to death before even starting to remove any clothes, in the sketch dressed as the Grand Mufti of Mecca.


  10. stuart says:

    `@ me just one right wing working class comedian who appears on the bbc or the comedy circuit,that is the point i am trying to make with respect.


    • With respect says:

      Why don’t you name five “right-wing working class” comedians you think the BBC should have on?


      • It's all too much says:

        Fair point, I don’t know of any because I HAVE NEVER SEEN OR HEARD ONE ON THE BBC. I suspect that there are none, unfortunately the species is extinct. Starved out of existence by rigid enforcement of a leftist orthodoxy, where right wing affiliation is virtually criminalised. No one can to make a living as a ‘right wing’ comedian when there is zero chance of air time.

        Jeremy Hardy though- as hard left as it is possible to be, and as funny as intestinal worms, is on a permanent retainer.


  11. Cosmo says:

    Jim Davison,
    Roy Chubby Brown,
    Johnny Casson,
    Anthony Wegwood Benn, ( Just checking his working class credentials),
    George Galloway.