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writer strongly believes that comedians should avoid picking on individuals, but instead focus on any broader issue involved. “The September 11th terrorist attacks are still a sore subject. I would never do mate- rial based on a victim of the attacks, but that doesn't make the subject untouchable. I think it's perfectly fine to do 9/11 material within reason.”

“Chris Morris did a sketch where a skiving radio news reporter claimed to be in the World Trade Centre, unaware that the place had just been reduced to rub- ble. The joke is on the reporter in question and the subject becomes useable. People complained but the joke didn't go as far as to directly insult an innocent victim of the attacks.”

Joan Rivers, famous for plastic surgery and caustic humour alike, says she was one of the first comedi- ans to put her head above the pulpit after the 9/11 attacks and make light of it all. She spoke about how she had been in New York in the time, how she had lost 11 friends, how awful it was and how the 2,500 widows had finally been given cheques for five mil- lion dollars each. She gave the audience a ‘well that worked out nicely’ look, before saying, “When you’ve had a partner for six years or more… Think about it for a second; what would you rather have? Someone who farts and drools in their sleep and whose mother lives with you… or a Nice. Big. Cheque. There had to be at least three women out there who were like ‘Oh no, Harry’s dead, boo hoo”, after which Joan did a little celebratory dance. To say the International Associa-

Lindsey Rutt – To me, nothing is sacred. Someone will be offended by anything you say. If you’re easily of- fended, don’t go watch stand up.

Dave McCarthy - Either everything is ok for parody, or nothing is.

Andrew King – As long as the aim is to entertain, and not intentionally offend, then nothing is sacred. There’s a big difference between telling a racist joke, and being a racist. One is satire or commentary, the other is bigotry and ignorance.

Rob Hughes - I was only ever upset by someone doing ‘Madeline McCann’ jokes. As a parent it struck a nerve and it bothered me that the girl could be being hurt or abused as some guy stood on stage laughing about her disappearance.

tion of Fire Fighters (IAFF) weren’t impressed is a bit of an understatement. The IAFF’s General President, Harold Schaitberger, released a statement to the press, opening with, “Comedian Joan Rivers' attempts to find humour in the catastrophic loss that our mem- bers and their loved ones suffered on September 11 is a new low and cannot be tolerated.”

I laughed at the joke because I found it funny. I’d also heard it in 2009. Joan told the joke in 2003. OK, so it was a good joke, but was it too soon? That said, sometimes a subject can be so sore for people that it’s always too soon.

Australian comedian Kitty Flanagan told a joke on stage in Cardiff about Princess Diana. Diana died in 1997 and Kitty told this joke in 2008. The audience laughed and then quickly tried to withdraw it with a cacophony of “Oooooooooooh” noises, to which Flanagan responded with, “Too soon, Cardiff? TOO SOON?”

I lean towards blaming media outlets like The Daily Mail for ensuring that people never get over certain issues, for helping people avoid looking at certain topics from another point of view, which is essentially what comedy is great at doing.

Brendan Burns, the Australian comic whose Edinburgh poster for his “I suppose THIS is offensive now?” tour bore images of him doing so-called offensive things; being crucified on a cross, pretending to be a disa- bled person in a wheelchair, blacked up from head to

What the readers think

Jonny Bull – An audience can go along with anything in the right context.

Ana Catris – Comedy is all about making you look at horrific situation from a new perspective. After you’ve laughed you can analyse your reaction to a situation better than if you stewed on it.

Dan Mitchell - The darkest of subjects, if handled with intelligence, should be allowed to be used for comedy. Comedy is a unique ‘open forum’ art form. Its performers discuss any subject, showing a different viewpoint of the world. It may not be for your palate, but it’s only through seeing all sides of something can you truly understand it. You c*nt. Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36
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