I agree that Boris Johnson probably initially got invited on to HIGNFY (Have I got news for you) just to laugh at him. In recent years they have invited another Conservative MP with some of the characteristics of Boris, Jacob Rees-Mogg, on to HIGNFY probably just to laugh at him as well. The only Conservative MP I can think of who managed to get an easy ride on HIGNFY was the gay MP Alan Duncan. Duncan used to be treated almost as though he was a Lib Dem MP, but after the expenses scandal where it emerged that he was a keen advocate of MPs receiving generous expenses to supplement their income, HIGNFY turned on him and he stopped going on the show.
The Boris Johnson case shows how influential on British politics the HIGNFY programme is. Pretty much on the basis of just a few memorable comedic performances on HIGNFY, Boris has managed to make himself popular enough with the public to get himself elected as the Mayor of London, and has kept Ken Livingstone out of office for years.
But the treatment that UKIP gets from HIGNFY, and from comedy panel shows and stand-up comedians in general, is far worse than what gets dished out to the Conservatives. David Cameron has re-positioned the Conservatives effectively as a Metropolitan Liberal party, and that must have reduced the flak that they receive from the comedians quite a bit.
To give an idea of what UKIP has to put up with from HIGNFY, consider this blog post from the "Is the BBC biased" blog:
The above blog post refers to an episode of HIGNFY where Nigel Farage appeared on the show, a few weeks before UKIP's triumph in the 2014 European elections. HIGNFY seemed to be on a mission to stop UKIP coming first in the elections, with anti-UKIP bias prominent in all the episodes leading up to the election.
Another attack on UKIP from a comedian emerged last week, where Alastair Murray, who performs as a stand-up comedy character called "The Pub Landlord", announced he is going to set up a party and stand against Farage in the forthcoming UK General Election.
Murray is one of the many British graduate comedians who doesn't act like he is one, and he is standing for the Free UK Party (FÙKP) which has an upside down pound sign logo.
I've got a feeling that Murray is going receive a much greater amount of publicity in the next few months than celebrities who stand as candidates in elections normally get. I noticed today that the headline of the online edition of The Independent is an interview with the Pub Landlord.