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Web Video / Jonathan Pie

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"Really? Really? Okay, do you know what he just said? You know what he — He said: "Why don't you, for once in your life, just do the fucking news?" Alright — no no no, no, I'm gonna do — no — I'm gonna do the fucking news — no — here is, the fucking news:"

Jonathan Pie is a fictional journalist created by comedian Tom Walker. Working for a news company he perceives as biased, Pie rants between takes about how ridiculous the stories he has to tell are. The premise, mostly, is that he uses these rants to calm down in order to deliver the next take with a straight face.

The series became famous after a rant about how Trump won the 2016 presidential election struck a chord with a number of frustrated voters. Some even missed that it was satire.

Though he appears live around the UK, Walker says he deliberately uses a web-friendly format.

In 2023, Jonathan Pie was (fictionally) given a talkback radio show by the BBC, resulting in the podcast series Call Jonathan Pie.

Contains lots of swearing.

These videos provide examples of:

  • Berserk Button: Biased news. Pie chose the wrong profession.
  • Bland-Name Product: The stage show is centered around Pie having to take part in presenting Children With Needs.
  • Book Ends: Most videos begin with the last lines of a news story and end with the first lines of the same story.
  • Broken Aesop: While Pie does make good points about liberals needing to reach out and empathise with their opponents rather than thrash and insult them, his method of delivering it — through angry rants and rude, vulgar insults towards both liberals and conservative figures — make him seem like a Hypocrite who preaches unity and empathy while acting divisive and abusive.
  • Censorship by Spelling: Attempted and failed in Teaching Is Hard.
  • Christmas Episode: Usually offering a semi-serious take on homelessness.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Pie is very stressed.
  • Conscience Makes You Go Back: A few examples, such as when Pie has just brushed off a beggar.
    Pie: No, Tim, that last take was fine. Hey, mate, come back here.
  • Content Warnings: For example
  • Deadpan Snarker: He's always snarky and when he's not ranting, he's very deadpan.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The enemy of your enemy "can also be a twat as well".
  • Drinking Game: The 2016 end of year rant is set at the office party, where Pie appears to be on a dare to deliver a summary of the year's news while doing shots.
  • Fainting: When Pie has to visit Africa he does, of course, need a number of injections. He doesn't take them well.
  • False Cause: Pie complains that for years to come, every good and bad thing to happen in the UK will be blamed on Brexit.
  • Freudian Slip: In the stage show, Jonathan gives a speech about coming to terms with the reality of Brexit. At a key point he says "divorce" instead of Brexit.
  • The Ghost: Tim, Jonathan's unseen and unheard producer, who is repeatedly trying (and failing) to keep Jonathan's temper in check from offscreen.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: To say that Pie tends to become bombastically angry would't begin to describe it.
  • Heroic BSoD: Pie has this reaction to Theresa May announcing a snap election.
  • His Own Worst Enemy: Pie often points out that from his point of view "leftists" like him fueled the rise of Donald Trump.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • In the 2015 Christmas Episode, Jonathan has just finished a speech about people not caring about the homeless, then he starts the next take and is interrupted by a beggar...
    • Pie is more than willing to admit when he's complaining about things he does himself.
  • Insistent Terminology: Pie gets angry when he's reporting about outsourcing in the NHS.
    Pie: Can we at least call it what it is, Tim? It's privatisation, it's not outsourcing.
  • Ironic Echo: Gives one to Teresa May's "Strong and Stable" campaign slogan in his video in the aftermath of the 2017 election and the hung parliament result.
    ''We just got ourselves a strong and stable opposition."
  • Is This Thing Still On?: The 2016 end of year rant, the people operating the camera run out for the office Secret Santa, leaving a very drunk Pie to figure out how to turn the camera off.
  • Kayfabe: The gimmick of Pie's channel is that he's a fictional newsman, going off on rants between takes while reporting the news. Essentially, Pie is "breaking character" in-universe during these rants, before going back to his newsman persona after he gets it out of his system.
  • Large Ham: Good Lord, once he gets going, Pie doesn't just chew the scenery, he devours it, cameras, microphones and all.
  • Married to the Job: It's implied that his inability to switch off his brain from his job is partly what drove a wedge between Pie and his wife.
  • Metaphorgotten: Goes with the angry ranting style.
    Jonathan Pie: It's time to stop crying over ... spilled fucking Brexit.
  • Newhart Phonecall: Pie is usually wearing an earpiece and ranting at the director on the other end of the camera feed.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Pie is very delighted to gloat to Theresa May that her snap election caused her opposition to become much more powerful.
  • Not So Stoic: He has his moments, such as during his last Comic Relief episode.
    Jonathan Pie: You play Coldplay through this bit and I will kill you.
  • Papa Bear: Pie's main priority in life is his son.
  • Pinball Protagonist: After all, it's about Pie's comments on world news. He's a newsman (or at least, he's pretending to be one), and is merely reporting the news and giving his opinions on it instead of actively influencing it.
  • Precision F-Strike: Despite generally being a walking Cluster F-Bomb, Pie is capable of this.
    Pie: My name is Jonathan Pie and that was the FUCKING NEWS!
  • Pun: When discussing that Jodie Whittaker's pay will rise after she regenerates:
    Pie: You could say... her pay package will be Bigger on the Inside... [Aside Glance]
  • Rage Against the Heavens: Pie does God, a reaction to a report on a service of thanksgiving for the survivors of a natural disaster.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: Pie is unimpressed with people's concerns about fake news, since he argues even real news is spun heavily, and that which isn't just sounds ridiculous.
  • Refuge in Audacity: The video "It's a JOKE!" is about Pie reporting on a YouTube comedian who was convicted for mocking Nazis by making his pug dog do a Nazi salute. Pie reported that the judge deliberately ignored that it was meant to be a joke, saying that if context doesn't matter, then Pie himself was "promoting racial hatred" just by reporting on it. Deciding that he might as well go the whole hog if he was going down for this, Pie started goose-stepping and speaking in German while miming Hitler raping the Von Trapp family. And Pie did this right in front of the court where the YouTuber was convicted. But it was so jaw-droppingly offensive that Pie got away with it.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: Everything. Pie's show is him reporting the news, then going off after a Rant Inducing Slight gets included in what he's reporting, ostensibly between takes of what he's actually reporting.
  • Sitcom Archnemesis: Tony Blair is this to Pie, and to a lesser extent, his ex-wife's new husband. Recently Donald Trump.
  • Strawman Political: Pie goes after left and right equally, though for different reasons. He goes after the left-wing identity politics that he feels don't actually help anybody, and comes down on the Tories and right-wing for wasting money and/or bad policy. In any case, Pie's rants tend to include only the most extreme positions so he can rant against them with increasing fervor and conviction.
  • Stylistic Suck: Lo-fi is sexy - Jonathan is not impressed.
  • The Teaser: Combined with Opening Narration. Each episode opens with the last few lines of whatever news story Pie will base this week's rant on.
  • This Is Reality: This isn't Game of Thrones!
  • Too Much Information: Examples include the state of a railway toilet, the effects of hot weather on his body, and Pie's lack of a sex life since his divorce.
  • Unfortunate Names: Pie can't stop laughing whenever he repeats the name Sue Fish. Until Tim points out that Jonathan Pie is just as bad. Pie actually thinks it's worse.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Tim, or at least Pie perceives him as this. To be fair, Tim is privately educated but has apparently never heard of George Orwell.
  • Wants a Prize for Basic Decency: His video "Oppression Obsession" has Pie railing against people who call themselves anti-fascist. Pie argues that being anti-fascist is the default setting, and that it's not particularly bold or interesting to say that you aren't fascist.
    Pie: I see people who define themselves as 'anti-fascist' on their Twitter profiles. Who isn't?! I'm sorry, that's the default setting. It's not impressive to be anti-fascist. Imagine showing off about that. 'I am not a fascist.' Good! What do you want, a fucking medal?
  • What You Are in the Dark: Pie's description of the voting booth and why aggressive politics don't work.
  • White Man's Burden: Discussed in "Black Lives Matter". While Pie comes down on people who are jumping on causes to try and make themselves feel better and/or draw positive attention to themselves, he ultimately decides it's a good thing to make positive political change into something "trendy", even if he's annoyed by it. The reason being that if something becomes trendy — such as listening to the plights of black people, LGBT people, et cetera, and standing with them in solidarity — then it will lead to some real positive change in the world, so he'll at least try to stomach it.
  • Wrong Insult Offence: Pie dissects the use of "Commie little socialist" as an insult.