I do stand up comedy. I like to make jokes about political and social phenomena that force people to think and analyze the world surrounding them. I approach comedy from the perspective of a teacher. When someone laughs at joke you made, that means they have thought about and processed the material you produced and at the very least understand your perspective. Whether or not they agree with the premise of the joke is up to debate, but they at least have thought about it.
Comedy is a powerful a tool. Historically, comedy has been used as a tool to speak truth to power. In Shakespeare’s King Lear, the Jester is the only character who is able to criticize and question the King. Because the king believes he is making his comments as a joke, he allows the Jester to make critical and disparaging comments. While this is an example from literature, real life stand up comedians have played this important role for years. In the 1960s Dick Gregory publicly criticized the USA government those of the southern states for their blatant state-sponsored racism and backwards policies. This was a dangerous move as he was criticizing the power structure of the time, but his jokes on national television help spark a national conversation about racism and systematic injustice. This is the vein that my comedy takes.
Anyone can make a dick joke, but it takes a talented and innovative comedian to make a tasteful and informative joke about a societal problem. Through my stand up comedy, I aim to change people’s perspectives and help them understand the various social, economic, and political mechanisms that exist within this country and throughout the world that oppress and exploit disenfranchised people. Whether talking about racism, sexism, the police state, or a variety of other subjects, I hope to enlighten people about the world around them through the power of laughter.