Alexander Bisley interviews John Clarke, the force behind the hilarious Clarke & Dawe in Australia.
AB: There’s an excellent documentary on the Russian group Pussy Riot. The British director was telling me about the vital importance of humour as a weapon, and how people like Vladimir Putin just don’t have a good sense of humour.
JC: The Russians are very good on that subject because humour was one of the sustaining aspects of Soviet society. The cartoonists in Russia at that time were not only brilliant, they were enormously brave and they didn’t all survive. It’s very important. The most delicious thing is to do something that isn’t a joke and which only the prison guard doesn’t laugh at. In Ancient Greece irony was “the glory of the slaves.”
Some of the Greek and Roman plays were delightfully subversive as the slave owners were often portrayed as doltish, and the slaves as the real crafty ones.Tags: John Clarke, The Lumiere Reader