People ask me all the time – Mindbling, who are your influences? Okay. No one actually asks me that. Ever. But I’m going to tell you anyway.
Because I just found out that one of my biggest idols has survived a bout with breast cancer, and I want to take this opportunity to a.) celebrate the sheer genius of Jennifer Saunders, creator and star of the BBC hit Absolutely Fabulous, b.) remind the ladies out there to feel themselves up on a monthly basis, lest their funbags become killer breasticles of doom, and c.) see how many times I can say Jennifer Saunders and Ab Fab in one post, in a desperate bid for her to possibly Google herself, see my post, read some back posts, discover my genius, and at the very least, want to be my friend.
So let’s begin! Jennifer Saunders created the fictional character that I most identify with: Edina Monsoon. Edina was the hard-partying (check!), fashion forward (check! HAHA. Just kidding), single mother (check!), who works in PR (check!), has a volatile relationship with her mother (check!), and a best friend who is not just her friend, but her soul mate and partner in crime (check check!). I mean, let’s be honest. I’m Eddie.
The characters Saunders created (with her writing partner, Dawn French, but, Dawn doesn’t have breast cancer. So let’s focus), Patsy and Eddie, were, to this American chick, groundbreaking.
They drank, they swore, they snorted coke and popped pills, they were shallow, morally empty, shamelessly fame-whoring, travelled the globe, ran a business, raised kids, shoplifted, name dropped -and they did it all completely unapologetically. For someone who was raised in a country where Judi fucking Tenuda was our raciest female comic, this was some eye-opening shit.
Ab Fab poked fun at everything and everyone. Nothing was sacred, and nothing was to be taken seriously. Fat people, gays, abortion … all things no comedy program here would touch with a ten foot pole, in Saunders capable hands, all became comedy gold.
Jennifer Saunders gave the world Eddie and Patsy. She gave the world a comedy show with two strong, capable, FUNNY female characters, the likes of which would NEVER get played here (thanks, Puritans!) And it remains my hope that somehow in my sad little life, I can add something like that to the world.
And then her boobies got sick. She found the lump last October, and just recently came out, sans-wig, to put the rumors to rest. Yes. She has breast cancer. And it makes me hate cancer even more than I already hated it, but makes me love Saunders more than I already do.
Jennifer, if you ever read this, please know that you are not just a comic, or a writer, or a mother, or a cancer survivor. You are a changer-of-worlds. A righter-of-wrongs. You are an inspiration to female comedy writers everywhere, and long live Eddie Monsoon.