PEOPLE WHO SHAPED OUR IMAGES OF HUMOUR

By Mike Kano-McCallum DTM, Area 15 Director, Strategy & Risk Committee Member

Humour – I’m going with the chuckle, laugh, giggle or groan variety. Humour is very cultural. In certain cultures it is not ok to make a lot of public noise, or it should be applause only.

Here in Australia I think we are a mostly ribald bunch, we laugh when we want to, and our humour can be quite risqué by world standards. We also are quite happy to “knock someone of a perch” if we think they are a “tall poppy” or “taking on airs”.

From my perspective there are three recognised types of humour.

·       Send up self (where you are self - depreciatory, or a character that you are pretending to be)

·       Send up others (where you depreciate others, or groups – such as politicians, or make fun of a character).

·       Fanciful (tall tales, riddles, farce etc.)

There are some hybrids (such as irony – combining humour and tragedy).  My family is deeply ironic, so that is my favourite type of humour.

Interestingly, the Advanced Manual “Humorously Speaking” does not talk about types of humour, it focusses on delivery styles.

For me, humour is about self-depreciation and irony, given I’m of the Australian TV entertainment generations, my favs are - Adam Hills - Julia Morris - Paul McDermott - Magda Szubanski - Judith Lucy and Anh Do.

My favourite is Magda.

Who can forget the cringe worthy Sharon from Kath and Kim, hapless, helpless but very likeable, and as Kath would say “so unlucky in love”. Who in the middle of Kim’s wedding shouts out “it should have been me” and has to be dragged from the church. Admittedly she had good cause when, years before, Kim had snatched Kel (the guy Kim was marrying) from Sharon at a “disco”, where Sharon unfortunately went for a rather baggy Boy George number, while Kim slayed the crowd with a – then cutting edge – Madonna tarty outfit. Sharon just did not have a chance.

Or Magda as Pixie Ann Wheatley, an air head, Amex card over user, entertainment reporter on “Australia You’re Standing In It” (yes showing my age here – self depreciatory joke at self….). With the annoying tittering laugh, odd head movements, and appalling lines of questions to hapless overseas celebs who thought she was a real entertainment reporter.

And for me a good comedian is also a real person, we have Magda barring her soul through memoirs, coming out, and even being a Jenny Craig rep.

Another person for me with cred and humour is Adam Hills. On Spicks and Specks, he could, with the flicker of an eyebrow, down some upstart celebrity who was trying to hog the wisecracks, or who clearly did not get the question.  Again he is also a clear and real person, with some adversity to strip mine for laughs.

The same is true for Anh Do, again adversity leads to irony which is really funny for me.

So who makes you laugh, a relative, a professional, your workplace, your life?

So find out what makes you laugh, or do you make others laugh. Check out the Advanced Manual “Humoursly Speaking”, and knock your socks off.

So it’s goodnight from me and its good night from him (Two Ronnies), enjoy your humour journey.