Category Archives: Comedy

Julia Davis interview

 

Original article to be found here.

While Joan and Jericha’s temperaments are in essence more unpleasant versions of those appearing in the Daily Mail’s Femail section, Davis’s other leads often have deeper psychological problems. Whether it’s Jill in Nighty Night, Dorothy from Hunderby or Camping’s Fay, these are lonely, sad characters who are abusive to those who love them in suffocating and sometimes sociopathic ways. Does she ever worry that, given the current sensitivity around portrayals of mental illness, she’ll get criticised for weaponising instability?

“Yeah, maybe,” she says. But she also points out that her characters are so exaggerated there’s a sense of detachment when it comes to serious themes. If anything, her podcast is a relief, especially in the #MeToo era, when women are reliving the patriarchal shaming that was inflicted on them growing up. “I think that’s why, for people who like the Joan and Jericha thing, it feels cathartic,” says Davis. “Because it’s so ridiculous and rude and terrible, it’s like a release for some people.”

Hannah Gadsby

Original article here.

 

We only have an existing narrative framework for a stranger doing violence to you.”

 

The idea of “stranger danger” persists in the collective psyche, but we now know that sexual offences against children are the crimes least likely to involve strangers. Most children will be abused by opportunists in adult relationships: the married relatives, the family friends, the pillars of the community, the good blokes. “A lot of people who have experienced trauma at the hands of people they’ve trusted take responsibility, and that is what’s toxic,” Gadsby says.

“Shame has its place,” she says. “Shame is what you do to a kid to stop them running on the road. And then you take the shame away and immediately they’re back in the fold. You should never soak anybody in shame. It’s the prolonged existence of shame that then flips out into destructive rage. We can’t exist in that. It’s like treacle.”

The burden of talking about complex issues usually comes down to the most marginalised people. On the rare occasions that a white, heterosexual man steps up – Louis CK pointing out, for example, that “there is no greater threat to women than men” – they are hailed as heroes.

“A joke is a wank, but a story is intimacy,” she says.

It wasn’t until she was in her late 20s, around 2006, that she tried her hand at comedy, and she credits the newfound creativity with saving her life. “Comedy is great in that it’s accessible to someone like me, from a low socioeconomic background, struggling in life. The gatekeepers are a lot stronger in other art forms.”

“He’s obviously an unwell kid and there’s a lot of that in comedy,” says Gadsby. “It’s often young men trialling their philosophies on life, and we’ve got a generation of young men who believe that they are victimised, because they’ve been promised the world. That’s a poisoned chalice, because now there’s a gap between what the cultural narrative is and what their experience is. Looking back, I think it’s done me more good than harm to be promised absolutely nothing. I was always told I didn’t matter to the world, but the world still matters to me. That’s why I haven’t responded to the more brutal aspects of my life with violence or bitterness.”