Lenny Henry: 'Comedy's rediscovered its punk spirit' | 'We've been waiting for a bit of anarchy'

Lenny Henry: 'Comedy's rediscovered its punk spirit'

'We've been waiting for a bit of anarchy'

Comedians have rediscovered a punk spirit amid today’s political turmoil, Sir Lenny Henry says.

Although the comic has barely dabbled in current affairs in his own work, he praised colleagues who did ‘speak truth to power’.

In an interview with the Radio Times, the 59-year-old said: ‘The past ten years, we've been waiting for a bit of anarchy.

‘We've now got a moment of complete and utter political madness and it doesn't seem like anybody knows what's going on.

‘There's a need for sensitivity, and the opposite, too - for somebody to kick down the door of whatever the taboos are.

‘There's a slow, growing thing of comedians getting braver and I love that It's like the late 1970s all over again. It reminds me of punk.’

He praised the likes of Mark Steel, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, Trevor Noah and the ‘comedians/talk show hosts/activists’ on late-night US TV for ‘calling people out’.

Sir Lenny added: ‘Russell Brand's strange, messianic approach to comedy is amusing, and also his sense of activism and wanting to change the world through comedy is refreshing.’

He admitted he didn't do politics when he was young and ‘the unhippest comedian in the universe’ but said; ‘If I was starting as a comic now, I'd have a go.’

Published: 7 Nov 2017

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