Jeremy discusses where the line lays in humour, when it can over step the mark and how it can be delivered without causing offence
In this episode talks about his career as a BBC presenter and how he moved into comedy. Jeremy then talks about where the line lays in terms of inclusive humour, when it can over step the mark and how it can be delivered without causing offence. There is a fine line between comedy that is funny, and that which is at someone's expense - this especially important in the workplace. Please join in the conversation and leave your comments below.
Joanne sat down with Jeremy Nicholas; a former BBC presenter turned comedian to discuss ‘How good humour can be used to nurture inclusive cultures.’
Humour is important because it helps people bond, with the saying that people who laugh together stay together ringing true. People can find it quite difficult to relax especially in social situations, but if we can break this down and spend meaningful time with others, sharing stories and a joke we are able to forge stronger connections and the feeling of knowing someone for longer than we perhaps have, often because we are able to feel more comfortable in their company.
Jeremy has found when doing his comedy routine the reactions he receives differ greatly depending on location, with some areas perhaps not reacting well to an ‘outsider’, unless he makes himself the ‘butt’ of the joke by talking about differences between where he is doing the gig vs where he lives. This is using comedy/banter to create an ‘other’ group to help with the feeling of inclusivity. You need to be laughing ‘with’ people, rather than ‘at’ people and this completely depends on the context of the humour. You can inadvertently use language that may upset someone, a problem that comedians face if they adlib.
Jeremy believes, especially during this current pandemic the best way to release tension is to speak and share a laugh with a friend/partner. No matter how large a problem may seem if you can find a way to laugh at it the issue it will feel smaller, a method Jeremy refers to as truth and pain. It is about finding something in common with another person, so this quite often revolves around the things that annoy us, rather than those that make us happy.
Humour is also used as a mask, to cover underlying issues that people may be facing – portraying a happy, jovial persona when reality may be far different. Jeremy says this is something that can affect comedians, where they almost crave the laughter and acceptance from the audience and can be hugely affected if they are not well received, or if they don’t have a gig.
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