Girls and their gags

So, women aren’t funny, eh? Lau­ren-Murphy talks to four funny fe­males play­ing the Voda­fone Com­edy Car­ni­val to get their take on that lazy trope

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - SPECIAL REPORT -


When you did you first re­alise that you had a tal­ent for mak­ing peo­ple laugh? Oh gosh, I don’t know. I used to be funny so­cially; since I’ve be­come a pro­fes­sional co­me­dian, I’m a lot less funny, so­cially. I used to be the one who was cen­tre of at­ten­tion, hold­ing court, mak­ing every­body laugh – but now, I’m much more likely to be the per­son at a party hav­ing a re­ally in­tense one-to-one with somebody in the cor­ner (laughs). But I think that part of me is sated by this won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity of skip­ping on stage and hav­ing a laugh, and then be­ing able to be in­ter­ested in other peo­ple when I’m off stage. Your dad is also a stand-up comic. Was it in­evitable that that sense of hu­mour would trickle down? I don’t think it’s a co­in­ci­dence that peo­ple’s par­ents who are doc­tors end up be­ing doc­tors. I think what­ever’s val­ued in your own fam­ily’s cul­ture is mas­sively in­flu­en­tial. I see my­self do­ing that with my own son – he’s a maths ge­nius, and I have no idea what he’s go­ing on about. I’m like, “Yes, dar­ling, that’s lovely – you’re six and you’re do­ing cube roots or what­ever”. Yet when he says some­thing funny, I re­ally re­act. I’ve caught my­self go­ing “Oh that’s lovely, dear, bril­liant Pi chart” and then ab­so­lutely howl­ing if he says some­thing funny. So I am mind­ful of that, so that he doesn’t equate parental ap­proval with be­ing funny quite as much as I did (laughs). But, yes, I think we al­ways knew that if we could make our par­ents laugh, we could get away with mur­der. Was there any­one in par­tic­u­lar, apart from your dad, who you’d con­sider a comedic in­spi­ra­tion? At first it was all about the Americans: Richard Pryor, Ed­die Murphy. And of course, be­ing black, they did talk about an “oth­er­ness” that I, as an Ira­nian girl in London, re­lated to. It didn’t mat­ter if the sub­ject mat­ter wasn’t ex­actly the same: it was about be­ing an out­sider and an “other”. I re­ally con­nected to that in quite a pow­er­ful way. And when Ben El­ton came along, that “oth­er­ness” be­came po­lit­i­cal. We were in a very right-wing so­ci­ety with Mar­garet Thatcher at the helm, and sud­denly this guy was speak­ing the way that we felt, and it

Bec Hill for­mula A bit of mu­sic, a bit of magic and A LOT of silli­ness.

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