Nazeem Hussain, Emily Heller and Stephen K Amos answer one pressing inquiry: how do you shape gags about the US president?
Forget Uber journeys, Tinder shenanigans and airline meat; standup comedys topic du jour is Donald Trump. But has the orange ones ascent to the US presidency been a boon for comics, or does he represent a threat too grave to be flippant about? How has the role of slapstick shifted in an period in which the age-old rules of political commitment have been radically rewritten?
With the Melbourne International Comedy festival taking over the city throughout April, we caught up with some of its performers to ponder these questions and ask them: how are you dealing with Trump?
Its hard to shape[ Trump] funny because it is a very real fright and its still so new. Im still figuring it out. But I feel like it colourings every joke, whether[ the joke] is explicitly about Trump or not. I dont know if slapstick has the ability to change peoples minds but Im hearing from audiences that they need it, that it attains them feel less alone.
I used to think slapstick was a medium to address any kind of person but now, sometimes, you get a pretty clear sense that audience members support Trump and, when I get that appreciation, I dont really care about entertaining them any more.
The day after such elections, I was scheduled to perform on a show to celebrate Hillary Clintons win. It was an all-female lineup and it terminated up being one of best available reveals Ive ever done. It was full of people who were incredibly perplexed and disappointed and it terminated up being tremendously cathartic. It reminded me how invaluable live performance is.
Emily Heller is one of the USs most acclaimed young comics and writers. She has appeared on Conan, Chelsea Lately and Late Night with Seth Meyers