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Comedian Lee Mack says no joke on any subject should be off limits – as long as it is funny enough.

Discussing cancel culture, the Not Going Out star said the golden rule should be that the joke must be more funny than shocking.

But he said although that means in principle anything is fair game, in practice some topics are so sensitive that no comedian will come up with a funny enough joke.

Mack – who still writes long-running BBC sitcom Not Going Out, but now rarely does stand-up – also said too often now jokes have become judged without looking at the intention behind them.

He said: ‘In principle, there isn’t anything that you can’t do a joke about, nothing.

Comedian Lee Mack said that nothing is in principle off limits for a joke, and that gags are too often judged without considering the intentions behind them

‘But for me, the joke has to be funnier than it is shocking.

‘So the more shocking the subject matter the better the joke has to be.

‘And there are some subject matters that are so shocking no one is good enough to think of a joke that is funnier than it is shocking.

‘So in principle you can do a joke about anything, but in practice you can’t because no one’s that good.’

He added: ‘You could go ‘what about this horrific event, would you be able to do a joke?’. In principle, yes.

‘But I could spend two years trying to write a magic joke about it that was more funny than shocking, and I’d never achieve it.

‘And that’s the problem. Sometimes comedians are doing jokes that just aren’t funny enough, because they have to be even funnier when it’s that shocking.’

Mack posing with his award at the National Television Awards. He admitted that a joke needs to be funnier when its subject matter is more sensitive or shocking

However, Mack said live stand-up is less of a minefield than television, because venues attract a more understanding audience.

He told Gabby Logan’s podcast: ‘There’s a lot of freedom with stand-up. Anything that is ‘mmm, is that going to be seen in the wrong context now when it’s put on television’, you don’t have that in stand-up.

‘Stand up they get it, so if you say something which is pushing something, then they go ‘yeah, we know what his intention (was)’.

‘Intention seems to have gone out the window now. It doesn’t matter what someone’s intention was, it’s what you did that matters.

‘I think that’s a shame. I think the intention of why you said something is the most important thing.’

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

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