Carrie Gooch (SCOTSGAY)

Carrie Gooch seems unwilling to come to terms with the fact that she has accepted the role of critic, and so must hit us with her unmitigated opinions, and pass off these opinions as objective truth.

It’s a great responsibility: too much, arguably, for a mere mortal – and yet that is what the job requires.

Gooch is unwilling to commit to any statement without backing it up with ‘and my friend thought so too’ or ‘it wasn’t just me that thought this’. She reminds me of the way children squabble with each other, backing up each barb with the imagined support of their peers. “Everyone hates you, not just me!” “People like me better, you ask anyone!”

Reporting back after Hannah Gadsby’s Happiness is a Bedside Table, Gooch tells us that “The woman who accompanied me to the show [not, you’ll note, a friend, just a random woman] said she found listening to yet another female comedian using body size, low self-esteem and medication as the source of her humour rather tedious and she has a point, but I laughed until my sides ached and so did lots of other people present.” You know what you could do, Gooch? Ignore what that woman thought and just write what YOU thought! Who is she anyway? Just some woman!

But I’m afraid that Gooch just doesn’t have the self-esteem to go it alone: “And I wasn’t the only one laughing which is embarrassing when it happens, lots of others were too” [Zoe Lyons]. “I don’t find jokes about Jewish noses or Jewish women’s legs that funny and nor did todays audience although others may do” [Unprepared For Life].

When she tells us that “The audience and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves” [Aaron Twitchen] I sensed the true scale of her psychological dissonance: Gooch wants to be heard as an individual and yet feels worthless without the assent and approval of her peers.

Perhaps she should take up comedy.

Becky Walker’s Panda

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