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← Heard the one about the pope? Sadly, yes

Ballardian's Avatar Jump to comment 30 by Ballardian

Patrick's partially correct, in that criticising religion in stand-up has become incredibly boring and lazy. But I think he makes a mistake when he names Stewart Lee. Lee's 90s Comedian routine about a grotesque encounter with Jesus is one of the best bits of stand-up I've ever seen, and it is a lot more subtle than any of the other comics Patrick lists. Lee is also the exception in that he was formally accused of blasphemy (which is where the Jesus routine takes off) and so had a pretty good reason for taking on the religious establishment in his stand-up.

I think many are missing Patrick's main point, which is that good comedy is about self-criticism, or including onself within the ridicule, rather than ridiculing the weak (or who we perceive to be the weak). Building stand-up routines around creationists is just an easy way to make fun of "stupid" people, and it's especially pointless in the UK where creationists are such a tiny minority. Comedy works best when the person telling jokes is the underdog, not the leader of the pack. There's nothing radical or interesting about telling liberal, secular gags to a liberal, secular audience.

Wed, 22 Jun 2011 09:03:29 UTC | #641600