Rupert Murdoch and Jonnie Marbles: The latest, but not the greatest, in pieing history


Image Credit: Craig Brewer/Getty Images

Moments before attempting to shove a foam pie in the face of embattled News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch, a British comic and activist known online as Jonnie Marbles tweeted, “It is a far better thing that I do now than I have ever done before #splat.”

Quoting A Tale of Two Cities‘ martyr Sydney Carton to justify a pie in the face demonstrates gross delusions of grandeur, but there is some historical precedence for the provocative act. A pie in the face may have its origins in the slapstick films of Mack Sennett, Laurel & Hardy, and the Three Stooges, and reached its zenith in the hands of the late Soupy Sales. But in addition to being a celebratory tradition for winning baseball teams, it’s also evolved into a symbol of political defiance. It’s the ultimate expression of helpless frustration: I can’t change the media or the government or that lifeguard who keeps me off the kiddie-slide, but I can make him look foolish in front of everyone! 

Pieing, as it is known, became popular in the 1970s, when a contingent of Yippies, personified by High Times founder Thomas King Forcade, targeted conservative figures like Anita Bryant, William F. Buckley, and G. Gordon Liddy. “It’s okay as long as you’re hitting someone who deserves it,” Sales told Newsweek in 2005. “Nixon would have been perfect. As long as it’s funny, it can be political.”

Over the years, titans like Bill Gates have been pied. So has William Shatner, Jean-Luc Godard, and Andy Warhol. In some ways, being pied is a badge of honor. After all, they don’t throw pies at no-named underachievers. And pies taste much better than a shoe.

Have you been pied, or have pied someone? Tell us your story!

Comments (11 total) Add your comment
  • abadstroller

    “Always room for pie….”

  • Chris P.

    This is one of my favorite pieing’s. Not because he actually got Murdoch(which he party did), but because Murdoch’s Asian ninja wife got to the guy before the guards even did.

  • kate middleton

    Not really a symbol of political defiance – it’s just a way for silly people to get attention for themselves.

  • batman

    Pretty odd that he was able to get past security and into a Parliament hearing with a big fat pie in his hand.

  • legalaid

    i didnt see self defence but i did see his wife cause common assult on mr marbles counter sue um

  • ian

    Clearly a News Corp plant to engender sympathy for an odeous little troll. Don’t be fooled.

  • Buffy Freak

    It was hysterical watching all the news channels make this BREAKING NEWS as if someone had entered the room with a gun in each hand. And then the members of Parlaiment thanking Murdoch for his bravery in staying to answer questions afterwards. It was a shaving cream pie…several baseball players get hit with one every day.

  • pie thrower

    The world would be a much happier place if we all used pies instead of guns.

    There is nothing like a good pie fight….especially at formal parties like the 3 stooges would do.

  • miranda

    My family lived through several pieing incidents in the 1970s. My dad’s best friend got my step-mom to pie him on his birthday. Then he got them back by convincing them to pie each other. There was also a pieing at an engagement party,

    True story. We are all still speaking. He recommends Cool Whip because it clings better.

  • Christopher

    Anita Bryant was the first I ever heard of, and at the time, I thought, BRILLIANT. A pie in the face is an indignity, but survivable, and a great means to devalue the menace of a public figure, forcing them either to behave themselves or bare their nasty teeth.

  • aron pieman kay

    let 1,000 pies fly!!! i am the mad yippie pie thrower….visit or

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