How comedy can challenge our beliefs by holding a mirror up to society

Charlie Perkins is no stranger to the inner workings of comedy and she took us through the meticulous layers of the art during last month’s Nicer Tuesdays. Headlining the event in an in-depth Q&A with our editor-in-chief Matt Alagiah, Charlie touched on some career highlights to date including Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared, shows circulating Edinburgh Fringe Festival and most recently, Adult Swim’s Off The Air. Having kickstarted an interest in comedy during university where she was involved in sketch shows, Charlie developed a passion for comedy in its rawest and variety of forms. “It’s really important things are allowed to be their own thing and not moulded into something else,” she explained on part of her job at Blink which spotlights alternative comedy by alternative makers.
In this captivating discussion revealing how Charlie sees the balance of light and shade in humour and how to translate that into a coherent television show, the head of comedy also talked about its role in society and how it seeps into almost everything we do. Imparting many nuggets of creative wisdom along the way, Charlie emphasised the importance of “things being allowed to their own thing”. In turn, diversifying the comedy circuit with distinctly different attitudes and tonal voices as seen in Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared as well as Off The Air. She went on to deconstruct the formal attributes of what makes something funny (“relief, superiority, incongruity”) and how these elements can give rise to laugh out loud moments.

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