Just for laughs

> Con­trary to pop­u­lar be­lief, jokes are more than a mo­ment of bril­liance

The Sun (Malaysia) - - YOUTH - Mon­tyPython FourLions HotFuzz

Have you had gigs where your au­di­ence didn’t un­der­stand or laugh at your jokes? It has hap­pened be­fore. I had a show where there were only five peo­ple, with three of them be­ing my friends so they knew my joke, but the rest didn’t. Hence, I was do­ing 15 min­utes of ma­te­ri­als to no laugh­ter – it was com­pletely silent. That’s just part and par­cel of be­ing a co­me­dian, though.

But how do you sal­vage these sit­u­a­tions? You don’t be­cause there’s noth­ing to sal­vage. When your au­di­ence doesn’t laugh, you still need to power through the show as if noth­ing hap­pened. At some point in the ca­reer of a stand-up co­me­dian, you have to learn not to care too much and to adapt to sit­u­a­tions. If a joke doesn’t work out, then maybe it’s some­thing that the au­di­ence doesn’t want to hear so you just move on.

A lot of of­fen­sive re­marks are now be­ing dis­guised as jokes. Where do you think we should draw the line be­tween the two? To me, stand-up com­edy is a plat­form that is dif­fer­ent from any­thing else. Stand-up com­edy is a sanc­tu­ary. As an au­di­ence, you need to know that all kinds of jokes will be made in standup com­edy. Hence, if you made a con­scious de­ci­sion to go to such shows and yet get of­fended, the onus is on you. Fol­low his Twit­ter jokes at: Fic­tional al­ter ego: Rec­om­mended come­dies: Star sign: Will sing along to: What about of­fen­sive ‘jokes’ made out­side the con­text of standup com­edy? I think stand-up com­edy is the plat­form where you can talk about any­thing you want, as long as it’s funny. As I have men­tioned, the crowd is only en­ti­tled to with­hold their laugh­ter. It is, how­ever, a dif­fer­ent sce­nario if it’s done on so­cial me­dia or face-to-face. Peo­ple need to re­mem­ber that al­though there’s free­dom of speech, the lis­tener main­tains the right to feel of­fended.

Haikal Idris is a self-taught stand-up co­me­dian. He looks up to An­thony Je­sel­nik, Dave At­tell and Michael Kosta.

ADIB RAWI/THESUN

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