Chortle's Correspondents section is an arena for fans to share their views on any aspect of comedy. We invite general comment pieces about particular aspects of the comedy scene (although reviews of individual shows or performers tend not to be suited to this section execpt in very rare circumstances) - with the one that's judged best each month receiving a £100 prize. Contributions should be at least 500 words in length, in a similar tone to something you might read in a broadsheet newspaper, and emailed to email@example.com.
We reserve the right to edit pieces - although we will be careful not to change the meaning of anything - or not to use them at all. By submitting an article you grant Chortle indefinite licence to use it freely; though you retain the copyright on it to use it elsewhere.
Wed 14 October 2009
Looking for the punch line
Matt Price on the parallels between comedy and boxing
14/10/2009 … I interviewed professional and amateur fighters for a few years, boxed as an amateur superheavyweight and learned the hard way that I wasn't suited to being repeatedly punched in the head.
Thu 01 October 2009
Joke Rape World
by Paul Case
01/10/2009 … The comedian’s onstageAnd he’s pissed at the poncey liberal middle classesSo far up their own arsesHe wants to explode their politenessTest their preconceptionsWhich he can seize, rebuild and freezeAnd then hold up them highAs an example of comedy’s progressionHe’s had several Bill Hicks sessionsHe knows the scoreThinks comics who talk about nothing are a boreSo he decides to be “dark”He decides to be “edgy”And anyone who doesn’t laughThey’re just too cageySo rape joke after rape jokeShoots out of his mouthAnd it’s all coolHe can handle the audience’s “ooohhh”sBecause if you’re offendedHe’ll refuse to mend itHe’s being ironic, y’seeAnd doesn’t really mean itSo for a few minutes that room becomes Joke Rape WorldWhile downstairs in the pub a girlGoes to the toilet, her staggering ever so slightShe’s had one too many, but that’s alrightIt’s Saturday nightAnd after a hard week’s workShe deserves to relaxBut as she turns her backHer date gets out his wrapAnd pours the powdered white fellasInto her StellaAnd the following morning, naked, she wakes aloneAlthough she swears somebody walked her homeHer heads thumpingStomach’s churningUsual Sunday hangover burningBut thenShe feels a sting in between her thighsReaches down, lightly touching the painExamines her fingertips, and her eyes strainAt the dark, drying bloodAnd she feels the red rising of silent shameAnd because she can’t rememberShe thinks she’s to blameThe comedian continuesLeading the audience through the world of sarcasm he’s builtAnd after every laughThey have a tiny collective spasm of guiltBut there’s no looking inward as to whyWaving that social conscience goodbyeBecause the chances are good the comedian doesn’t hate womenJust loves the superiority of the stageAnd the glow of winningThe rape jokes are just short cutsTo an easy reactionAnd there’s no harmAs long as he’s funnyAnd his timing’s tight…… Right?But just because he’s not a misogynistDoesn’t mean he can’t preach itAnd just because he’s attempting rebellionDoesn’t mean he can’t teach the shitWe’ve been fed all our livesIrony without a reasonIs just an empty excuse for teasingAnd it takes the pissBecause when that comedian leaves the micJoke Rape World still existsIt insists on slicing our earsTo the sound of billions of womenHammering at every wall of all the yearsAnd rape just becomes somethingThat happens on our TVsAnd as the audience leavesNo one seesThe guy leading the paralytic girlTowards the humming taxiRape jokes just keep rape in its silent cageAnd irony puts a stitched smile on the victim’s faceIt’s all about emphasis and perspectiveAbout where all your comedic rage is directedAnd this is where the problem gets dissectedBecause there are some funny aspects of this harsh subjectTearing into a system that gives harsher sentences to weed dealersTelling us a girls deserve it just because they’re too easyBeing drunk, wearing short skirtsThey’re asking to be hurtAll these things can be the aim of satireA torch to set fire to unthinking viewsAnd this our cue to put a stop to itBecause if irony’s a comedian’s only excuseIt just doesn’t fucking cut itPaul Case performs poetry as Captain Of The Rant.
Wed 30 September 2009
Why is TV so scared of risk?
Nelson David on the 'unimaginative, derivative, culturally barren mulch' that gets commissioned
30/09/2009 … As I read Chortle’s edited highlights from the Broadcast TV Comedy Forum last week, it became very clear that the TV times they are a changin’.
Wed 23 September 2009
Chris Hallam celebrated the cult sitcom's tenth birthday
23/09/2009 … Ten years ago, the British comedy scene was very different from the one we know today.
Mon 21 September 2009
Too old to be funny?
Ashlea Dutton, 16, wonders if comics have a sell-by date
21/09/2009 … Does the comedy scene belong to the younger model? In the showroom are the flashy Porsches named Whitehall, Kane and Donnelly, revving up technology-based gags, fueling themselves with controversial topics, while the 40-year old written off bangers languish at the back, cast away for rasping out tired one-liners and spluttering about their mother-in-laws?.
Tue 15 September 2009
You know what comedy needs? More critics
Donnchadh O Conaill wants comedy to be taken seriously
15/09/2009 … Critics are often thought of as being to comedy what a vendor hawking pork pies is to an orthodox Jewish wedding – unwelcome intruders offering unpalatable goods.
Mon 14 September 2009
How a man in a primate suit changed Matt Price's ideas of comedy
14/09/2009 … It's the immediacy of live comedy that appeals to me.
Doing adverts? It's a crime against the truth
Ivor Dembina has the last word on the subject
14/09/2009 … Like Carl Donnelly, I’ve never done an advert, but I’m sure if I needed the money I would do.