The best slapdowns of 2014

It’s been a good year for mockery. Here’s our pick of the best putdowns, comebacks, character assassinations and burns

“This man is not a cartoon character. He ain’t Del Boy. He ain’t Arthur Daley. He is a pound-shop Enoch Powell, and we’ve got to watch him.”

– Russell Brand attacks Nigel Farage on Question Time

“I have to know, what is it like to be the last black president?”

– Zach Galifianakis presses Barack Obama on Between Two Ferns

“He’s there to serve a very important ceremonial function as David Cameron’s lapdog-cum-prophylactic protection device for all the difficult things that David Cameron has to do.”

– Boris Johnson mounts a tongue-in-cheek defence of deputy prime minister Nick Clegg

“It’s the story of how George Clooney would rather float away and die than spend one more minute with a woman his own age.”

– Tina Fey reviews Gravity

“It’s funny to see people like Igloo Australia silent when these things happen. Black Culture is cool, but black issues sure aren’t, huh?”

– Rapper Azealia Banks berates the white Australian rapper Iggy Azalea, for failing to speak out after the death of Eric Garner

“When most Americans think about Scottish independence they tend to picture a millionaire Australian antisemite on horseback.”

– John Oliver explains to his US audience why there’s more to the Indryref than Braveheart

“His behaviour fully revealed once again the US inveterate nature as a hypocrite who has deceived and mocked mankind with all sorts of gimmicks. He is a wolf donning the mask of sheep … with a hideous lantern jaw.”

– An unidentified policy department spokesman at the North Korean defence commission slams US secretary of state John Kerry

“Kasabian have an import role to play: they are there to remind us how true Spinal Tap was. The stuff Sergio [Pizzorno] says – he’s Nigel Tufnel. Particularly with the album title, 48:13. I’m guessing that’s how long the record is. Someone sent them a CD that just said ‘Kasabian’, and they didn’t know what else to put on it, ‘cos they hadn’t bothered to think up any fucking titles, so they just put the time on and Serge said: ‘That is genius.’”

– Billy Bragg offers his thoughts on the Glastonbury headliners

“I picked out my Halloween costume. I’m going as ‘Slutty Madeleine Albright’.”

– American late-night host Conan O’Brien mocks the former secretary of state

“@ConanOBrien I’m considering going as hunky Conan O’Brien – but that might be too far fetched.”

– … and Albright herself gives it right back on Twitter, with interest

“There are kids at school who dress like everybody else, because they don’t know what to do, and there are musicians like that, too. I’ll hear TV commercials where the music is ripping off sounds of mine, to the point I think it’s me. Half the time, it’s the Black Keys.”

– Jack White heavily implies that he invented blues guitar

“I think I speak for everybody when I say, no one cares. They just want to know if you are running for president.”

– Jon Stewart on Hillary Clinton’s new book Hard Choices, which she was promoting on his show

“These days, the House Republicans actually give John Boehner a harder time than they give me. Which means orange really is the new black.”

– Barack Obama lands a dig at the well-tanned speaker of the house

“Should I point out that the pot-bellied, rotten-toothed, fag-stinking oaf has never himself been able to work in America because he is considered ‘too ugly for TV’ – the exact words used by the NBC executive (a friend of mine) who interviewed and rejected him when Top Gear was launched there?”

– Piers Morgan responds to Jeremy Clarkson’s jibe that no one liked him in America

“Geography can be tough. Here’s a guide for Russian soldiers who keep getting lost & ‘accidentally’ entering #Ukraine”

– The Canadian delegation at Nato posted this sarcastic tweet with a map highlighting “Russia” in red and “Not Russia” in blue. The tweet was described as Canada’s most aggressive act since 1812

“Six requirements to be Brazilian coach. One – being Portugal coach and winning nothing. Two – going to Chelsea and being sacked the following day. Three – going to coach in Uzbekistan. Four – returning to Brazil, taking over a big team [Palmeiras] and getting them relegated to the second division. Five – leaving the club 56 days before the end of the Brasileirao [season] to ‘escape’ the relegation. Six – being an old jerk, arrogant, repulsive, conceited and ridiculous.”

– Neymar’s agent, Wagner Riberio, slams Brazil coach Felipe Scolari, after the team’s 7-1 defeat to Germany in the World Cup

“There are areas of official life in the United States that are similar to Russia. For example: disbursement of protest, and the way American prisons are run, which is pretty tough.”

– Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova explains why she doesn’t feel homesick when she is in the US

“Taylor Swift is like that aunt that tries to be ‘hip’ with the young’ns and ‘with the times’ and then asks you what does bae stand for and after you tell her she starts calling everything bae even the lamp next to the couch.”

– A poster on Tumblr insults Taylor Swift


– Taylor Swift responds in the comments. For any older readers, or indeed Taylor Swift, “bae” is American slang for your significant other

Powered by article was written by Sam Wolfson, for The Guardian on Monday 29th December 2014 18.30 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010