Chris Lilley’s nuts

Down towards the “pointless” end of the Australian comedy news spectrum was this story which emerged on Saturday on the 3AW website. In brief, the story was that Chris Lilley had been banned from Facebook for posting a “lewd picture” (this one, apparently) in which some testicles were visible, i.e. a “sneaky nuts” photo. Anyone who sat through Angry Boys will be familiar with the concept of “sneaky nuts”, in which the characters Nathan and Daniel get their balls out for family photos.

Lilley’s banning from Facebook prompted outrage from his fans, and declarations from Lilley himself that they needn’t worry about missing out on their regular “sneaky nuts” fix; “sneaky nuts” photos would continue to appear on Tumblr, Instagram and Twitter, who apparently don’t mind that kind of thing. (For your academic interest here is the Tumblr, where to our mind many of the nuts are disappointingly un-sneaky.)

Since Saturday Lilley has got his Facebook page back, and this morning there’s been a new piece in the Herald-Sun. Actually, that piece appeared overnight which meant that Lilley could respond fairly quickly to it:

The Herald Sun and Daily Telegraph once again proves themselves to be full of shit. Do some research dickheads.

And then respond to his fans who tweeted him with their unquestioning support.

Thanks for the support guys! Media is just stereotyping themselves as the BS con artists we know them for. Enjoy the sneakynuts once again!

What exactly is “full of shit” about that story is unclear (did the Herald-Sun make up the quote from him? Was the bearded photo which had been “supplied” actually a file photo?), and it scarcely matters, for us the important points about this are:

1)      The way in which the “sneaky nuts” ban was framed almost as a freedom of speech issue, giving the matter far more importance than it deserves. (Go visit Chris Lilley’s twitter and the Chris Lilley fans twitter for lots of examples of the hashtags and campaigning, many of them jokey, admittedly.)

2)      Lilley is actively encouraging his fans to copy his material, and doesn’t care if they do it badly, i.e. if the nuts aren’t sneaky at all. Which says it all for us: here’s a guy who came up with a semi-amusing idea – teenage boys deliberately ruin family photos by secretly exposing themselves – but seems oblivious to why that idea is funny. In case he’s wondering the clue’s in the name, it’s funny because the nuts are sneakily put out there, not simply because they’re put out there. What’s funny about sneaky nuts is the devilish facial expressions on Nathan and Daniel’s faces and the reactions of their family when they discover what they’ve done to their carefully-posed group photo. No wonder Lilley’s comedy’s over-hyped and hit and miss – Lilley doesn’t understand what hits and what misses in his comedy, but hey, as long as there’s still people interacting with it that’s totally fine.


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