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Friend of Tortoise Exclusive

Limits in comedy: how far is too far?

Limits in comedy: how far is too far?

This event is exclusive to Friends of Tortoise

This is a newsroom ThinkIn. In-person and digital-only tickets are available.

When it comes to comedy, is anything off limits? Jimmy Carr was recently criticised for a joke about the Holocaust which appeared in one of his Netflix shows. The show was available for some months before the controversy kicked off on social media, which might indicate that many of us don’t have a problem with “offensive” comedy until somebody else does. 

Does it make a difference who tells the joke? Is it possible to tell the difference between performative outrage and genuine offence? Comedians are just doing their job, and it’s down to individuals to choose where they get their laughs. But how do we know when a joke goes too far?

editor and invited experts

Matthew d’Ancona

Grainne Maguire
Stand-up Comedian and Writer

Nathan D’Arcy Roberts
Award-winning Writer and Comedian

Susie Alegre
Human Rights Barrister and Author of ‘Freedom to Think: the Long Struggle to Liberate our Minds’

Susie McCabe
Award-winning Standup Comedian