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Comedy is a reflection of our society. It’s time for it to get with the times

Racist comedy isn't funny—it's just degrading, and it's time for it to change

Hillary Di Menna

On April 8, The Simpsons aired the episode “No Good Read Goes Unpunished.” The 15th episode of the series’ 29th season addressed the issue of the racist portrayal of Kwik-E-Mart owner Apu Nahasapeemapetilon. “Addressed” insofar as Lisa Simpson looked at the camera and said, “Something that started decades ago, and was applauded and inoffensive, is […] More »
January-February 2018

Whose job is it to tackle sexism in comedy?

The onus often falls on women—but it shouldn't

Stephanie Philp

I take improv on Wednesday nights in a basement dance studio with floors so sensitive we’re not allowed to wear outdoor shoes on them. The ratio of men to women in the class is about five to one, which is pretty normal. It’s my turn to play. On stage my scene partner stations himself at […] More »
January-February 2017

2017 Kick-Ass Activist: Courtney Skye

Comedian Courtney Skye uses her dark humour to address tough-to-broach Indigenous issues

Hana Shafi@hanashafi

Courtney Skye first thought to dabble in comedy after a trip to the makeup store. While in a Sephora in Hamilton, Ont., shopping for mascara and matte lipstick, she presented her First Nations status card while paying. The cashier took notice. “Oh you’re First Nations?” she said. “I hear a lot of your women have been […] More »
September-October 2016

Healing trauma through comedy

Comedians take heavy subjects and laugh about them to ease the pain. Now, I'm joining them.

Hillary Di Menna@HillaryDiMenna

For our special 50th anniversary issue, Canada’s brightest, boldest, and most rebellious thinkers, doers, and creators share their best big ideas. Through ideas macro and micro, radical and everyday, we present 50 essays, think pieces, and calls to action. Picture: plans for sustainable food systems, radical legislation, revolutionary health care, a greener planet, Indigenous self-government, […] More »
July-August 2009

“Conceptual comedy” duo turn jokes into art as “Life of a Craphead”

Sean Michaels

For Toronto’s “Making Room” art show in 2006, Amy Lam and Jon McCurley—the duo who call themselves Life of a Craphead— erected a bed sitting on a couch. The couch was large and blue and the bed sat as a human would, folded at the waist, with two wooden legs on the ground. It looked […] More »