Activist first, comedian second: Jonathan May-Bowles, aka @jonniemarbles, guy who pied Rupert Murdoch

So about that guy who threw a shaving cream pie at the face of News Corp. overlord Rupert Murdoch during his live globally-televised testimony before British Parliament.

We all quickly learned that Jonnie Marbles was a comedian, who even made a quip about his act on Twitter @jonniemarbles moments beforehand: “It is a far better thing that I do now than I have ever done beforeĀ #splat

But his own Twitter profile bio describes himself as an activist first, comedian second.

Was this just a stunt to boost his stand-up comedy career?

Most probably not. Even though pies in the face started as a joke before being known as a political statement — and in America, the shaving cream pie is generally only reserved for baseball players who did something special in a game and are talking to TV crews afterward. And as The Guardian dug into its recent archives, it remembered talking Marbles, whose real name is Jonathan May-Bowles, just eight months ago about his polticial activist group UK Uncut (which distanced itself from yesterday’s pie incident). Here’s that Guardian clip with exclusive footage of May-Bowles talking about and planning a UK Uncut protest at HSBC.

So no. Not a comedy stunt to gain attention. Nor a political stunt by UK Uncut. Just one man angered enough about what Murdoch and his company had done, that if Parliament and Scotland Yard wasn’t going to leave him with egg on his face, May-Bowles would leave him with pie on it.

What about his actual comedy chops, though? Here’s a clip he uploaded in 2009, which has garnered a bunch of new views and negative comments in the past day. Roll it and judge for yourself.


Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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2 thoughts on “Activist first, comedian second: Jonathan May-Bowles, aka @jonniemarbles, guy who pied Rupert Murdoch

  1. People would be wise to be very suspicious of this act put on in parliament, which seemed ready made to engender sympathy for Murdoch. They were playing rehearsed parts for the day. The story is just too convenient and we must never forget that these are obscenely rich and power hungry media manipulators who are are now desperate and have already shown they have few scruples. The story has been all about “Tiger Wife’s” quickness, but the video shows the unnamed lady in grey was actually the one to stop the guy, and then after a couple of seconds, Wendy finally jumps in.
    My analysis, the lady in grey was surprised and genuine, while the others expected it and were surprised when the other lady ruined the show. Wendy was quick thinking, but I suspect not for the reasons we’re expected to conclude. How did a scruffy looking guy dressed like that get past security without help?
    Smells fishy…

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