Humour in “illiberal Hungary”

“The central Asian, post-Soviet, illiberal atmosphere of Hungary under Orban is ripe for parody,” famous Hungarian stand-up comedian Tibor Bodocs told French news agency AFP, who made a lengthy report about “humour thriving in Orban’s illiberal Hungary”.

AFP reminds that since his landmark speech in 2014 – when Orban was speaking about illiberal democracy -, Hungary’s prime minister “has tightened his grip on media and other institutions and launched a series of campaigns featuring billboards on almost every street. They warn about Brussels interference and liberal US billionaire George Soros whom Orban accuses of alleged efforts to force migrants on Hungary”.

“I make it all look ridiculous, and try to make those who believe in the propaganda think twice,” Bodocs told AFP after a show in Dunakeszi near Budapest, part of a recent sell-out national tour.

The character fulminating against foreigners in his car “is the subconscience of Orban’s system, surfing the waves of propaganda, driven mad by fear of anything non-Hungarian,” said Bodocs, describing one of his popular YouTube videos. “Viktor’s themes like foreign threats and Muslim invasions are primitive, but strong, opposition politicians simply can’t compete,” he said, when asked why he focuses on Orban.

“It’s fun to play this guy, a god in his own comic way,” another comedian of the Dumaszinhaz, Andras Peter Kovacs told AFP about Orban. “There is something strange in him, distorted by being in charge for so long”, he added. The club’s owner, Gergely Litkay said during the migration crisis they regularly mocked government policies instilling mortal fear of migrants. “We tried to convince people to think a little deeper,” he said.

Source: AFP, Hungary Journal

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