Monday, January 05, 2015

Comedy Vicar

I've just signed up for a Comedy for Clergy workshop at next months Christian Resources Exhibition. Don't laugh. Actually, let me rephrase that...

Current bedtime reading is Saturday Night Peter, the 2nd part of Peter Kays autobiography, it's fascinating to read about another professional communicator, and the attention to detail which goes into his craft. The dynamics of a sermon are different to that of stand-up comedy, and not many of us preachers just have one talk which we take on a national tour each year (though sometimes it can feel like it). But there's a lot to learn - comedians are one of the few people we'll happily listen to for any length of time, up to and including the length of time it takes to develop a reasoned argument.

Comedy can be serious. There was a time not long ago when the only effective opposition to the New Labour government was Bremner, Bird and Fortune. The dog days of Thatcherism gave rise to a generation of political comedians including Ben Elton and Alexi Sayle. More recently Russell Brand, Mark Thomas, Mark Steel, Marcus Brigstocke, Jeremy Hardy, Adam Hills, etc. etc. all deliver a bit of the same. In the Christian 'world', Adrian Plass and J John, in very different ways, can deliver comedy and serious comment in the same sentence.

I'm surprised the workshop isn't called Stand Up Stand Up for Jesus. With jokes like that, you can see now why I need it...

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