When is comedy funny, and when is comedy not funny at all?

With an eye on the stories in the media over the weekend, it would have been difficult to miss the crisis of his own making that Comedian Jimmy Carr is now facing, as he begins talking up fear of his own ‘cancellation’ over a ‘joke’ he made involving Gypsies and The Holocaust in a show of his being streamed on Netflix.

The fact that Mr Carr has actually been here before – when he found himself on the end of public disfavor over Tax evasion in 2012 – should perhaps be raising more of a smile than it actually is.

But then again, the whole matter raises the rather valid question ‘When is comedy funny, and when is comedy not funny at all?’

Don’t get me wrong. Some of the programmes that Mr Carr is involved in, such as the Great Big Fat Quiz of the Year are very funny. As are other shows and programmes that comedians of the same genre take part in. Because put in context and without exercising an obsessive desire to make everyone guilty for being a complete cock, the more general humour that comedy shows contain is usually a lot of fun.

That general humour I refer to here is observational comedy. Humour and comedy where the jokes are made about life experience which relate to the absurdities of existence that is experience by us all. They are not being directed at individuals or in anyway being unkind.

Sadly, Mr Carr is not the only comedian who has come to either rely upon or regularly test the water when it comes to victimising others to gain popularity. They quite literally up their wages over a joke that comes at someone else’s expense.

The problem is that it isn’t just real humour that makes people laugh.

When you have a captive audience that can come in many different kinds, the sad truth that many people will laugh at a comedian because of wishing to be seen as being part of the group or because of what they relate to being like the stupidity of some of the people they meet in normal life.

Regrettably in this case, it is knowingly being brought to the stage or to a public platform where it is being used to be deliberately unkind.

Funny or not. It would be better for all if we were to encourage each other to think and see comedy and any kind of joke made in poor taste for what it is, rather than doing the ‘group thing’ when it comes to pretending to take offence. It certainly doesn’t mean that the source of it should be ‘cancelled’ out.


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