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Comedy night at the Angel

I went to a live comedy show at the angel in hockley last night. I spoke to the two comedians who performed about their opinion on Censorship in comedy and free speech.

It was interesting to get two quite different sides. Plus some interesting things to talk about.




Katie Michell:

Have you ever had one of your jokes taken badly?

I’ve made a joke before about a guy called “fat thor” that was badly recived once and a university gig. But normally, because I’m quite left wing about my comedy I generally try and avoid sensative topics.

With ‘punching up’ and ‘puncing down’ I perfer to avoid punching down as it goes against my politcs slightly. But I tend to deal with this kind of thing sensatively.

In some cases one persons free speech will silence someone else, but I do feel you can talk about anything or even be critical but I think its improtant that the comedian to be aware of what you’re saying and it’s impact on people.

Do you think context is important in comedy?

Absolutely! expecially with my taste of humour wich can be quite offensive at times I’ve found that with context a comedian can buld up a joke to make is extremely offensive, but because of the build up  and the context the joke is okay.

I tihnk a lot of people worry about their joks being taken out of context.

(She told me about tim michin’s video about context)


She then told me about a comedian in leeds who was extremely right wing and he got kicked out of his university for making voilently transphobic jokes at a gig, he then went on to say he was one of the nly ‘right wing comedians’ in a ig at london.

Do you think comedy is getting more orless offensive:


Depends woyou ask really, I’ve found a lot of my peers havebeen saying that you ‘can’t say anything nowadays’ but I slightly dissagree. Some people have aid to me


In general I’ve found that a lot of comedians have become more political. But it’s polerised on ether side.

for example frankie boyle was a lot more offensive and is nowadays very political and crated quite biting satire.


we spoke about people not knowing that Al Murray is Satire, and Jonathon Pie.


Do you think free spech is a problem in the UK and are you interested in it?


Yes, I think it is a problem in the UK because we don’t have the same rights as most countrys. On the other hand I think if you’re waving a nazi flag you should be arresed.

I think that bringing offensive comedy into the law is too far and it can cause problems.





Leslie Burgesse:


Do you think free speech laws in Canada are simpliar to the UK?


I think it’s quite bit like the uk


Have you ever had one of you jokes taken badly?

Mostly no, because my comedy is quite silly and soft there’s not often the worry of it being taken out of context, sometims when I interact with the audience they make it more political tan I’d like it to be, but I can normally take back control.

Do you think politicall corectness is god or bad for comedy?

I think it’s quite a mixed bag, I think m views are quite aligned with political corectness, but I’m more silly than political, I’m not a fan of comedy for the sake of shock value.

I don’t like the idea of punching down at all really, It is a free speech thing though, but I personally just want people to be happy.

Do you think comedy is getting more or less offensive?

In general I think less, but the backlash is making it worse, so when people ask for more sensetie comedy offensiv people might be more ofensive.

similar to the mee too movement where people who are not effected cause a unintended backlash.

I ofen find the people who shout out about free sppech are the ones abusing it.

Do you think that people have the right to be offensive in comedy?

I think people have the right I just don’t like it peronally. There are peple who are into that but I just don’t lie it myself.




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