If you want to see cleavage, visit the journalism section of the English writer and comedian James Mullinger’s website. There, tastefully (that is, not altogether) bared you’ll find the chests of the impossibly beautiful Celia Hammond (from Mullinger’s profile on photographer Terence Donovan), of Maggie Gyllenhaal, Olivia Williams, Sheryl Crow and Rachel Weisz, for starters. And yet the name of Mullinger’s hit stand-up show is The Bad Boy of Feminism. That’s right, Mullinger has been a card-carrying feminist since at least the days when he took his university degree in Women’s Studies. And now he’s reviving Bad Boy for one night only to benefit the Fawcett Society, the UK’s “leading campaign for gender equality.” The show addresses Mullinger’s concern that all the lady-loving karma he’s stored up might be in jeopardy after years of retouching (not to say touching) the bodies of famous women so that they–how to say this delicately?–fit a certain image for his daytime employer, British GQ. (A magazine which presents its own titular dissonance, being neither a quarterly nor the preferred reading of gentlemen.)
But comedy is all about the contradictions, and Mullinger knows it. That’s why in among the profiles of such quintessential Davos types as Matt Le Blanc is an interview with British MP and Labour Party star Sadiq Khan, the first Muslim MP to sit in cabinet. You pigeonhole Mullinger at your peril. This former bullied child, who grew up revering Woody Allen and Jerry Seinfeld (whom he’s now interviewed a few times), is a feminist, damn it, all misogynistic jokes and photoshopped cleavage aside. Just because you’re one thing doesn’t mean you’re not the other–and Mullinger will prove it to you. Exuberantly.