Can comedy change anything? Brian Logan and Chris Rock (Tony blog 8)

Arrest that comedian! How satire could swing the UK election- Brian Logan

In Brian Logan’s article he presents a complicated view on how successfully comedy has interacted with politics, especially in the UK and also the USA. With these western forms of political comedy he thinks that, in the present day, they are increasingly difficult to get the public to care and respond to it and that historically they may have been more popular but equally have not invoked massive change. However, he gives various examples of how in other countries and political environments of how comedians have either inspired at least some change, successfully offended political figures or even accidentally got elected themselves. Logan seems to say that this doesn’t happening the UK or the USA or at least not in the same very obvious ways. I believe his most compelling argument was in how he says Hannibal Buress changed the public view on the Bill Cosby case by simply joking about it, making it real for the audience and imploring us to take it seriously and the wider political issues attached to that case. Political comedy seems to be most effective when it simply questions the status quo and challenges the audience to decide what it right.

One clear example of this would be Chris Rock’s opening monologue from the Oscars in 2016. This year the oscars were under fire for having no black actors nominated in any category and massive protests began about diversity in Hollywood and many people boycotted that year’s ceremony. Chris Rock used the opening monologue to address these issues whilst essentially standing amongst the issue itself. His monologue engaged with the issues head on and forced not just the people in the room to question how they are to make their films but also the millions watching at home on how they should support diversity in film. This was a subjected that became impossible to avoid and needed to be talked about for change to happen and although the comedy of this monologue may not have changed things in itself but it did allow for further important discourse which could allow for something to change.

One comment

  1. I like how you tie in Chris Rock’s speech to the Logan article. I completely agree with your analysis on how he utilized his platform to spread information to the public, as well as to get people to ask themselves hard questions. Do you think that this speech did make an impact?

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