Guest Post by Isabelle Riley

Posted on November 5, 2013

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Comedy at different types of events

Have you ever heard someone say ‘I don’t like comedy.’ I didn’t think so. No one is immune to laughter, or to humour, that is what makes us human. That and our ability to understand abstract concepts. Which includes comedy. For something to be funny, it has to be done right. It’s an effect lie everything else. It’s very easy to be not funny. We’ve all seen that. A good comedian will draw you in and make you part of their world for the duration of their set. That is what becomes influential. If something can be successfully satirised, chances are that you can pick some pretty big holes in it. That’s why comedy and satire are so politically important. Think of Saturday Night Live or The Whitehouse Correspondent’s dinner. In ancient Greece, where democracy was invented, political satire was a very important part of the political process because of the degree to which it influenced public opinion. That is true through the ages, from Charlie Chaplin in The Dictator to Tina Fey on Saturday Night Live.

During the Rennaissance, ‘humour’ was thought to be influenced by the balance of bile in the body, and if the fluids fell out of balance with each other, the person became very sick. Imagine that! A lack of a sense of humour making a person unwell! Even though stand up comedy isn’t as common an attraction as, say, going to the movies, it’s just as important. Laughing is part of having a good life.

The reason that comedy fits so well with official events and functions is that it brings people together, and it puts them at ease. Finding something mutually funny means two people finding out that they have things in common. At events, even personal celebrations like birthdays and weddings, people are meeting each other for the first time, often having trouble speaking to each other and engaging each other, and comedy is.

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Posted in: Spotlights