… I was going to do a joke, a topical and poignant joke, but chickened out. The joke wasn’t even that good but after the events in Paris I wanted to do something to take a stand against aggression and censorship, I wanted to to throw a satirical, metaphorical middle finger up at those extremists and say “fuck you!”. The joke was “After all the terrible things that happened yesterday I hope when the cartoonists from Hebdo get to heaven they tell all the virgins what a bunch of pricks the extremists are”. As I said it’s not a great joke but it is MY joke. I wrote it in response to the horrible actions of a group of monsters and I wanted to share it with the world but I didn’t. The gig was me returning to a show I used to be the resident compere for, the show is my favourite gig in the entire country and the promoter is one of my best friends so when I finally got on stage I felt all that pressure and just wanted the room to love me. I wanted to make them laugh and I didn’t want to risk that. Instead I made the joke that a group of middle class people was called a Cumberbatch.
And I want to say I’m sorry. Our whole job as comedians is challenging people’s perceptions of the world around them, we have to question the injustices in the world and we have to point out the flaws in reality so they can be changed. IF we’re not doing that we’re just distractions, just something to stop the masses from focusing on the real problems, we’re part of the malaise that’s affecting the whole of humanity.
So I’m sorry. I let you down, I let myself down and I let comedy down. It’s our job to take the most serious subjects and make jokes about them, by doing this we take the power away from the monsters and give it back to humanity.
Here and now I swear to you I will never do that again. Every time I get on stage it will challenge the status quo, it will poke fun at the problems we face and it will do it’s best to change people’s minds.
Because it has to mean something otherwise it means nothing. We are the bright line between the darkness of futility and humanity. We can’t mean nothing.