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Headscratchers / Have I Got News for You

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  • In the opening credits, why is the Russian turning the oil off by turning the tap anticlockwise?
    • Obviously it was made in the southern hemisphere.
      • Taps turn off anticlockwise in the southern hemisphere? I've been doing it wrong all these years...
    • In Capitalist Russia, oil turns on YOU!
    • Oil? All this time I thought he was shutting off the Gas supply...
    • It's possible the animation was originally the other way round and was flipped horizontally for editing purposes.
    • There are such things as left threaded screws, y'know.
  • Is it wrong to still find them homophobic on the Mandelson front, whatever Mandy's sins? I mean, Jackie Mason thought them a bit much that time...
    • I agree with you to an extent, but in their defense, the director of the BBC putting out a gag order on any mention of "the private life of Peter Mandelson" was some shameless inside baseball and definitely deserved backlash... which could really only come in the form of mentioning the private life of Peter Mandelson. I actually think they did an okay job about keeping most of the jokes about the censorship and hypocrisy and resisting the temptation to make innuendo out of everything. There's one moment in that first episode with Jackie Mason when Angus reads out a quote from Norman Tebbit saying that gay people shouldn't be in the Cabinet because it puts them "in a position to do each other favors"; everybody snickers, clearly expecting a joke about gay sex, but it turns out to be something about Tebbit having helped privatize British Telecom in the eighties and then gone to work for them — "so [nepotism] is all right for mad heterosexuals, then."
      • Although it seems a bit strange to make that much noise about being told not to mention something that wasn't really in the public interest to pry into in the first place?
      • Well, yeah. That's the extent to which I agree with you. I don't like exactly how they handled it. But insofar as the fundamental issue is free speech I don't have to like it. Homophobia is a secondary matter in this case. It's still worth talking about, but I wouldn't rather they hadn't said anything.
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    • On the one hand, the show has a longstanding tendency towards mildly homophobic humour (there was also a "shirtlifter" joke about a gay Tory at one point); on the other, there have been some fairly barbed jibes at nastier homophobia such as the "minorities form cabals" meme from the aforementioned Thatcherite and Deaton once took a straight-faced (if scripted) swipe at an anti-gay religious leader.


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