It’s very sad what’s happened to humour during the pandemic. Two things actually happened to the funny side of life. One, humour is in short supply right now. And two, any current attempts at humour are not very funny.
So where has humour gone, because our funny bone hasn’t gone anywhere, I’m sure.
Well some experts believe humour began to fade away when it became politically incorrect.
It’s true that most humour is at the expense of someone else, especially ethnic stereotypes – Irish dimwits, mean with their money Scots, all Greeks run fish and chips shops and so on.
Humour also is – or was – offensive because it had a dig at arrogant people, politicians (sorry about the tautology), the very rich or poor, religion, stupid bosses; the list is long as your arm.
Billy Connolly, one of my favourite comedians, just found humour in everyday life, growing up, teachers, priests, weird relatives and the Scottish national soccer team, among others.
What I love about Billy is that everyone and everything was fair game, including himself.
No sacred cows, no political bias, just poking fun, almost as a way to bring everything and everyone down to an equal level.
Political correctness didn’t stop the big Scotsman from expressing his sense of humour, but the same cannot be said for most of the rest of the stand up brigade.
All we have now unfortunately are memories of funnier times, when comedy was king on radio, TV and indeed books and newspapers.
There are so many contenders for our favourite Top 5 from the world of humour, but here goes.
Number 1. Billy Connolly. Fall off your seat, rolling on the floor holding your stomach funny. Will never forget watching a video of one of his live performances for the first time.
Number 2. Eddie Murphy became a very big movie star for a while, but he was a very funny stand up comedian before that.
Number 3. Tina Fey, the woman behind 30 Rock, and who plays Liz Lemon in it; maybe she should be my number one because she delicately juggles edgy humour in a politically correct world.
Number 4. Jerry Seinfeld, who is also still dabbling in a little bit of humour during these tough times. He makes pithy comments on Twitter, but I’d much rather watch re-runs of his old show with George, Elaine and Kramer.
Number 5. Let’s turn the clock way back to John Cleese and Fawlty Towers. Just 13 episodes of pure comedy magic. Feel a bit sad I couldn’t find room for Rowan Atkinson in Blackadder and many, many others. Oh well, we’ll always have the memories – and Netflix.