Letter: No joke

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The Independent Culture
Sir; Few would disagree with James Rampton (The shape of Arts to Come: Comedy, 1 February) that there are many indifferent comedians today with an over-reliance on Star Trek and similar material, but his argument that gag-based comedy is dead has two major flaws.

You cannot rely on the anecdotal evidence of storytelling comedians and their agents. All comedians will happily criticise other comedy styles in an effort to validate their own. And whatever one thinks of the "provincial mega comedy clubs" and the "gagmeisters" that perform there, they are invariably packed with punters who are fully aware of what sort of comedy is on offer.

The beauty of modern comedy is that performers of all styles can grace the same stage on the same night, and the vast majority of audiences seem to know what James Rampton doesn't: it is not the style of the comedy that matters, it is the content.


London SW16