comedy

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Tim Ferris: Tools of Titans – B. J. Novak

“A good comedy operates the exact same way a good mystery operates. [Which is] the punchline is something that is right in front of your face the whole time and you never would have put your finger on it.” B.J. Novak (TW: @BJNOVAK) is best known for his work on NBC’s Emmy Award–winning comedy series The [...]

Daniel Klein: Gorgias the Ancient Greek Stand-Up Comedian

“First and foremost, nothing exists; second, even if it exists, it is inapprehensible to man; third, even if it is apprehensible, still it is without doubt incapable of being expressed or explained to the next man.” GORGIAS OF LEONTINI, GREEK ORATOR AND PHILOSOPHER (485–380 BC), SOPHIST AND PROTO-NIHILIST (As paraphrased by SEXTUS EMPIRICUS, [160–210 AD], [...]

John Berger: On Laughter

Laughter is not a reaction but a contribution. What can happen in twenty-four hours may outlast a century. .... Of the seven court jesters whom Velázquez painted close-up portraits of, three were dwarfs, one was boss-eyed, and two were rigged out in absurd costumes. Only one looked relatively normal – Pablo from Valladolid. Their job [...]

January 3rd, 2017|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

John Berger: The clown knows life is cruel

​The clown knows that life is cruel. The ancient jester's motley coloured costume turned his usually melancholy expression into a joke. The clown is used to loss. Loss is his prologue. The energy of Chaplin's antics is repetitive and incremental. Each time he falls, he gets back on his feet as a new man. A [...]

January 2nd, 2017|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

German Sense of Humour: What Makes Germans Laugh

The Germans take their sense of humour very seriously. It is not a joking matter. Harsh, astringent and satirical is their style. The cabarets of pre-war Berlin are famous. Their bit was ferocious: the nearest modern equivalent is the British Spitting Image, but this is playful by comparison. Classic German satire put the boot in [...]

December 30th, 2016|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

If I Could Tell You Just One Thing: Michael McIntyre, Yes Man

​I'M ON THE PHONE TRYING to arrange a meeting with Michael McIntyre, the highest-grossing comedian in the world, but I can't: he's making me laugh too much. The experience, however, is at least answering a question I've always asked myself: are professional comedians funny they're not on stage? In this case, the answer is: oh [...]

December 15th, 2016|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Interview with Comedian Angie Belcher

We caught up with actor, performance poet, writer, teacher and stand-up comedian, Angie Belcher. 1. What is the last thing that made you laugh out loud?   In a charity shop yesterday I overheard a little girl tell her mum she should get a size 18 dress cos she’ll “grow into it” I’m also still [...]

December 10th, 2016|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Anand Rao: The fear of humiliation has limited my enjoyment of life more times than I care to mention

I have been an engineering consultant for over a decade, and the role of being ‘an expert’ (in any profession) often carries with it the unspoken expectation of having to always know what you are talking about and of never making a mistake. As they like to say in consulting ‘you are only as good [...]

November 29th, 2016|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

​Michael Foley: How to remain flexible, open and generous?

Bergson argued that the comic sense has developed precisely to meet this need, that the social function of comedy is to correct petrifaction by making it laughable. The petrified person, unaware of automatism and eccentricity, becomes a figure of fun: Laughter must be something like this, a kind of social gesture. By the fear it [...]

November 27th, 2016|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

Steve Martin: Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You

The path that led me to Jordan and the insight he represents began with a 2007 episode of the Charlie Rose show. Rose was interviewing the actor and comedian Steve Martin about his memoir Born Standing Up. They talked about the realities of Martin’s rise. “I read autobiographies in general,” Martin said. “[And I often [...]

November 23rd, 2016|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , |0 Comments