Articles on Humour

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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'.
Emma Cooper created the show “Rape is Real and Everywhere” with fellow comedian Heather Jordan Ross. Scot McLean

Survivors use humour to challenge rape culture

Rape jokes are among the most controversial that comedians can tell, but a Concordia professor says laughing at the absurdity of a world that silences survivors is also an act of support and solidarity.
Ricky Gervais has faced a lot of criticism for jokes perceived as offensive. Matt Hobbs/Flickr

What is the point of offensive humour?

You may think a rape joke is harmless but research shows that it can have serious consequences.
A statue celebrating Monty Python’s sketch The Dead Parrot near London’s Tower Bridge ahead of a live show on the TV channel Gold. DAVID HOLT/Flickr

Is there such a thing as a national sense of humour?

There are ways to pin down what a country laughs at – including who they like to make fun of.
John Clarke, who died suddenly at the weekend, called out absurd politicking and dishonest language wherever he found it. ABC Pr handout/AAP

Farewell John Clarke: in an absurd world, we have never needed you more

John Clarke gave voice to a brilliant Antipodean acerbity that has always seemed a little old-fashioned in its moral and tonal dignity. His was a magnificent achievement of focused, pitch-perfect satire.

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