u3a - Comedy and Humour

Contact the adviser

  • I have run a successful comedy group for approximately six years now, having started with access to audio tapes and CDs only, moving on to projecting DVDs on to a wall screen, and now having available for projection all that the internet has to offer;
  • I have long had an interest in comedy, being in the audience for many TV and radio recordings while living and working in London until 1994; that is no longer available to me, but I still attend live gigs regularly, as well as visiting the Edinburgh Festival and the Leicester Comedy Festival;
  • Whilst I do not pretend to be a competent critic or analyst of comedy I do have an extensive knowledge of the subject, acquired from books (script collections, biographies etc) and recordings of all kinds. I am also familiar with such ‘tricks of the trade’ as ‘call-backs’ and ‘reveals’.
  • My own tastes tend towards the subversive and the irreverent, but I am of course aware that others may want something a little ‘cosier’. I know what I like, and I aim to introduce those who attend my group to artists, programmes etc with which they may not be familiar. This works well with my group, an open-minded ‘lot’, but may not work with all.
  • Being a small group we are not interested in performing (though others might) – although even here I might be able to assist, as I am able to locate quite a lot of scripts from shows past. So far as original material is concerned, I might be able to act as a ‘script editor’.
  • The format I use consists of half an hour or so of comedy material on the big screen, preferably mixing old and new, followed by a round-up of recent comedy news and comment. For example, on Friday I shall be combining an episode of "Murder in Successville" with the Peter Cook/ E L Wisty monologue "The World Domination League". The old and new proportions can be reversed as required. But each group will have arrived at its own format, and new ones too will find something they are comfortable with.