Articles on Humour

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Eric Idle, from left, John Cleese, Michael Palin, and Sue Jones-Davies in Life of Brian (1979). HandMade Films, Python (Monty) Pictures

Life of Brian at 40: an assertion of individual freedom that still resonates

As parody goes, this infamous Monty Python film is a pretty gentle, even, respectful sort. It is now more likely to be criticised for breaching the boundaries of 'political correctness'.
Charlie Pickering may be a witty and intelligent young man, but he’s too reassuring a presence compared to surveyors of the edge of chaos. ABC

Friday essay: why is Australian satire so rarely risky?

Today's screen satire frequently preaches to the converted. Fortunately, there are some notable exceptions that can skewer even the most progressive of viewers.
The Yes Men in 2009 handing out spoof editions of the ‘New York Post’ with the lead story ‘We’re Screwed’ outlining how “climate change is threatening the lives of New Yorkers — especially those who take the subway to work.” Still from the documentary by Laura Nix and the Yes Men

Humour and media hoaxes put social justice ideas on the map

For media activists The Yes Men, hoaxes have emerged as a proven tactic to generate public discourse on social justice issues that are not generally given space and time in mainstream news media.
When does parody spill into insensitive cultural appropriation? While Chris LIlley is probably OK to appropriate the upper North Shore culture of Ja’mie (pictured), he’s on dodgier ground with Jonah from Tonga. Princess Pictures, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Home Box Office (HBO)

Permission to laugh? Humour without risk of danger and offence would be an emaciated thing

In our pursuit of a world that is safely and entirely OK, must humour be cleansed of its original sin of cultural appropriation and insensitivity? It depends whether we are 'laughing up' or 'laughing down'.

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