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'Limmy-nality':21st Century Glaswegian Scottish-ness in the comedy of Brian 'Limmy' Limmond

Wilkie, I

Authors



Abstract

The global Covid-19 pandemic of 2020-2021 has made the production and dissemination of the comic work of Scottish comedian Brian ‘Limmy’ Limmond (b. Glasgow, 1974) seem innovative to the point of being prophetic. As an established Scottish comic auteur, Limmy has most recently been responsible for producing, directing, filming and editing his Homemade Show, described on BBC I-Player as his own ‘rough-and-ready self-made comedy show’ comprising ‘sketches, ramblings and techno’ (BBC 2020). However, nearly a decade on from his mainstream incarnation in three BBC Scotland TV sketch show series, broadcast between 2010 and 2013, Limmy’s comedy career has now come full circle, with his return to his original digital production and social media routes for sharing his comic output. Limmy’s comic techno ramblings have a distinct flavour. Rich Cooper, a blogger writing on the Joe website, titles his critique of a compendium of Limmy’s Vines that were shown in 2017 at the London Short Film Festival thusly - ‘I Watched 600 of Limmy’s Vines Back-to-Back and Saw the Dark Heart of Man’. Cooper states that they ‘provide a unique and deliriously disturbing insight into the existential terrors of the 21st century, with paranoia, mental illness, sexuality, boredom and the internet all coming under scrutiny’ (Cooper 2020).

This chapter will suggest that Limmy’s comic expression exists in a discrete space. Firstly, a brief attempt will be made to place Limmy within a construct of the national Scottish sense of humour. Secondly, an evaluation of Limmy’s identity as a 21st century Glaswegian Scot will be undertaken to suggest how his comedy reveals deeper local and personal understandings. Limmy’s comic outlook will be posited as existing in a specifically liminal (‘limmy-nal) state, in which his unique comic meaning-making identifies a gap, or between-ness, that illustrates Williams’ notion of a ‘structure of feeling’ (Williams 1954) and further encapsulates ‘the lived experience of the quality of life at a particular time and place’ (1977). Limmy’s ‘disconnected, ruminative sort of humour’ (Brown 2013, p. 125) will, moreover, be reviewed as a specific, often ‘sinister, unspeakably odd, yet, to those of a certain bent, insanely funny’ (ibid) species of comedy that reflects peculiarly Glaswegian Scottish concerns in its themes, tone, style and the delivery of its content. In essence, Limmy’s primary comic concerns are evident in his book of short stories Daft Wee Stories (Limmond 2015), whose themes are, broadly, imagination, dark turns, memory, false identity, scatology, attitudes to alcohol, magic realism and anti-intellectualism.

Citation

Wilkie, I. (2023). 'Limmy-nality':21st Century Glaswegian Scottish-ness in the comedy of Brian 'Limmy' Limmond. In UK and Irish TV Comedy Collection. Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-23629-7

Acceptance Date Aug 1, 2019
Online Publication Date Sep 19, 2023
Publication Date Sep 20, 2023
Deposit Date Oct 7, 2022
Publicly Available Date Sep 20, 2025
Publisher Springer
Book Title UK and Irish TV Comedy Collection
ISBN 9783031236280
DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-23629-7

Files

This file is under embargo until Sep 20, 2025 due to copyright reasons.

Contact I.Wilkie1@salford.ac.uk to request a copy for personal use.





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