The theme for February is humour. We will have a look at the nature of comedy and its ability to expose the truth of things. We will use some scenes from that ground-breaking movie The Life of Brian to illustrate how humour can capture some thought-provoking perspectives on history, society and theology.
Comedy is a funny thing. What makes one person laugh can leave someone else totally cold. Why is that? Personality? Nurture? There are some glimpses of comedy in the bible but 3,000 year old sarcasm isn’t always recognisable as humour in 2019. ‘Why did the chicken cross the road’ opens the door to other lines in ways that ‘why did the priest cross the Jericho road’ does not.
It’s also interesting in terms of how societal norms change over time, and what was acceptable for laughing at in the 1960’s no longer works in 2019. The Carry On movies would have to alter beyond recognition to find general acceptance today. Benny Hill probably wouldn’t even get an audition.
Times change. We change. Comedians change. Comedy evolves but humour remains an important aspect of daily living. Personally, I’m a big fan of the one-liners. The late Phyllis Diller for example, was brilliant at them. Like this one: “You know you’re old if they’ve discontinued your blood type”).