You may see it as sarcasm or you may see it as satire. Whichever way you view it, Jonathan Pie speaks his mind. Although the man behind Pie may not be a political animal, he does know how to play one.
Tom Walker, creator of Pie, was a struggling actor before he decided to put together some clips of him portraying an angry political reporter on YouTube. One of his clips went ballistic and overnight he had himself a career. Kind of.
Not knowing too much about political satire, he had to learn it on the job. When he started out in 2015, Trump didn’t exist. Brexit didn’t exist. He has definitely grown into it while the world has gone mad with Trump fever. Trump has been good to Tom. He has helped him build his career.
Over the next three years, Tom continued to rant about many topics. Everything from slushy snow instead of the real issues to dog owners getting on the wrong side of the law by teaching them commands that insinuate hate crime. Thrown amongst all of that you’ll hear Trump, Theresa May and even Australia’s Barnaby Joyce getting obliterated. All in a believable news report.
Some people out there and certain publications still believe he is a genuine reporter. Tom believes that after a few views if they still don’t see it as satire, something is a bit mad.
All the credit must go to Tom and his writing partner Andrew Doyle for producing quality material. The two friends have different political views. When it came to the Brexit vote, one liked the idea of staying and the other opted to call for a departure. All this does is help them find a positive balance for their comedy. Bouncing off each other with contrasting comedy gems. From small clips to the stage, Pie will make you laugh. Writing their second stage show has been more interesting for the pair as it is longer and people know more about Pie.
Reworking some scenes specifically for Australian audiences, Tom hopes their will be something for everybody in his new show. Political rants, growth and of course the next Royal wedding. Roll out the red carpet, here comes Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and Jonathan Pie.
To be successful you have to have a bit of luck on your side but, you still have to have a solid foundation of hard work and in Tom’s case, amusing observations, otherwise his talent would go nowhere.
Tom recognises that Pie wouldn’t have happened without the internet, without social media and YouTube which is bizarre because he spends most of his new stage show berating social media but, it has given him a career.
The comedy community is slowly accepting him as one of their own. Although he has become an overnight success, Tom has walked the long and winding road to get Pie to where he is. In this line of work, it appears that journalists appreciate what he does and politicians seem to stay in their little sumptuous office suites. The closer you get to power, the further you get from reality. Gough Whitlam may have been happy to have a beer with you during his tenure but, in 2018, you’ll be ‘fortunate’ to see a politician out during election week.
Tom continues to be grateful for the slice of pie, or the stroke of luck that fortuitously fell on his plate. Looking ahead, Jonathan Pie’s next move could be even bigger. Keep an eye out for him on the big screen. You never know when he might start pointing at you during one of his rants, whilst attending a relaxed Gold Class viewing. It is either that or Pie runs for Prime Minister. He may fire all politicians and start a dictatorship. So for now Great Britain, and the world that has enjoyed a slice of pie, be thankful that he continues to speak freely as a political satirist. After all, he is a comedian playing the role of reporter. The perfect way to say something, without saying it yourself.
When & Where: Athenaeum Theatre, Melbourne – May 25 & 26. Tickets via ticketek.com.au
Written by Sam Young