Simon Bird has denied being a “poster boy” for misogynist comedy during his time starring in The Inbetweeners.
In a new interview, the actor, who starred as Will MacKenzie in the Channel 4 comedy series, discussed whether or not he thinks the show could make a return, especially in the #MeToo era.
“There have been other shows where they’ve had those reunions much later, and the joke or the setup is still fundamentally the same,” he told The Sunday Times, “whereas with The Inbetweeners the joke was that these were kids.
“They were saying and doing terrible things, but they got away with it because they weren’t yet fully formed out. And when they are fully formed out, it will become more problematic.”
He continued: “I don’t think I was misogynist or a poster boy for that sort of comedy. But I do think we were lucky to have a get-out-of-jail-free card in the fact that they were stupid boys.
“It’s a totally valid question whether the show would be made now. Or if it was set now, whether teenagers’ attitudes and language have changed. I hope so.”
Bird also considered how comedy in general has shifted over the past five years.
“I hate that phrase ‘politically correct’, because it’s not about being politically correct, it’s about just being nice. Sympathetic and empathetic,” he said. “There’s a lot of amazing comedy being made that doesn’t rely on cruel, undermining humour.”
He concluded: “It’s definitely still possible to be funny.”
Earlier this year, Bird once again ruled out the possibility of a future reunion of The Inbetweeners.
Speaking on Lorraine, he was asked if he would “never say never” in regards to an a reboot, given that Gavin & Stacey recently staged an unexpected comeback at Christmas.
“Exactly, yeah. I mean I will say never now,” Bird said about a reunion. “But I think the reason that show worked [at the time it was on] was because the characters were kids, so they could say the terrible, awful things they said.
“Whereas if the characters were in their mid-to-late 30s, it’s slightly different.”
The hugely popular show ran for three seasons between 2008 and 2010 before two movies were released in 2011 and 2014.