Is racism funny in Australia?

Last night I went out to ‘The Comedy Lounge’ in North Melbourne where we heard a six comedians

There where four Caucasian comedians and two comedians of an Asian extraction.

The white comedians used situaion comedy to entertain the crowd to varying degrees of success, however the asian comedians used the fact that they were Asian as the basis of their humour.

If fact, these two comedians based their entire acts on the stereotypes around Asians and the way they are perceived in Melbourne society.

I found this tactic most unfunny.

I found that it put me in mind of Black comedians in England back in the late Seventies and Eighties. Back then, they too use to play on the stereotypes and preconceptions of their predominantly white audience.

In the UK it took a wave of ‘new style’ black comedian to spearhead a backlash against this type of humour in mixed company.

It was deemed that a mixed audience was not sophisticated enough to understand the fact that the Black comedian was being ironic, and actually laughing at the ignorant perceptions of their white audience.

I think that the same backlash needs to take place here in Australia.

I think that by comedians using race as the basis of their humour, they are perpetuating the stereotypes that are still too ingrained in Australian society.

The Asian comedians last night were not being ironic. They were pandering to stereotypes, trawling for cheep laughs. I put this down to their lack of experience and their desperation to break into ‘main stream’ comedy

The majority of the audience that bore witness to the comedians last night appeared uncomfortable with the content of the Asian comedians acts, and that is a good thing. However I balieve that the audience last night is not indicitive of the type of audiences found around Australia.

I can only hope hat the comedians get the message that the audience are ready for well though out humour, rather than lazy, ill conceived attempts at humour, based on race.


~ by jeditopcat on 30 October, 2008.

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