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Old Timey Humour

I wanted to look at what comedy was like in the past and compare it to present day. What kind of jokes were acceptable then and are they still relavant now? I thought a good starting point would be the comedy carpet.

I’ve done a project on the comedy carpet before and I find it extremely interesting. I’m wondering if i can use some of the magic and creativity behind it to inspire my own work.

Quote from vice article: https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/mba49a/all-your-favourite-old-british-sitcoms-are-racist-as-hell


“The “British sense of humour” – that sacrosanct, 20th-century myth which our strange nation, riddled as it is by self-doubt and insecurity, is still so beholden to. Veins throbbing, coked-up on nostalgia, we’ll tell anyone who’ll listen: “We understand sarcasm!” “Monty Python was actually really culturally important and not just six public school boys doing impressions of their mums!” “John Oliver is popular in America!”


Sadly, however, as with pretty much everything we celebrate about our collective history, the reality of our comedic heritage is more problematic than we often care to remember. Put simply, for every “fork handles”, there’s a sketch like Spike Milligan’s “Pakistani Daleks“.

Britain’s history of racist sitcoms is not much of a secret. In recent years, they’ve matured into a sort of quaint artefact to be scoffed at by a more enlightened generation – popping up on Oh My God Can You Believe It Was the 70s Once-type shows, where former Loaded editors and stand-up comedians giggle incredulously at clips, while Barry Cryer blinks slowly and assures us “it was a different time.”

the ‘comedy carpet‘ by artist gordon young in collaboration with why not associates, was officially opened in blackpool today. 300 slabs of granite cover around 2200m2 making it one of the largest pieces of public art ever commissioned in the UK.


– following text from blackpool council

created as part of the major regeneration of the promenade, the comedy carpet was commissioned by blackpool council, with part of a £4m grant from cabe’s seachange programme. catchphrases, jokes and songs from more than a 1000 comedians are now immortalised in concrete and granite artwork which is situated at the foot of  blackpool tower.


artist gordon young has been working in the public realm for over 20 years creating pieces that mine rich seams of social history, engage communities and extend the relationships between art and architecture. at the heart of all gordon’s young’s work is language – words that entice, fascinate and on the comedy carpet, amuse.  titter ye not, just like that, oooo-er matron, nudge, nudge wink, wink, oh betty! suit you sir, yeah but no but, what’s on the stick vic? , in the comedy carpet young has created a giant ‘giggle map’ immortalising the UK’s favourite comedians and comic writers from the hey day of music hall to 21st century stand up.


Source: https://www.designboom.com/art/gordon-young-the-comedy-carpet-blackpool/

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