'There was this boss, right...'
Sunday 21 February 1999
"If a teacher or anyone else in charge of other people can make them laugh, it gets them on-side. Incongruity is a useful device; the teacher or boss who can act unexpectedly and get laughs for it is on to a potential winner. But they must not cross the dividing line where they lose their dignity and the respect of others. It is tricky to know if the boss who can perform tumbles like a clown should demonstrate this to employees."
Graeme Garden qualified in medicine before working in television - best known in The Goodies
"Laughter induces physiological changes. If you feel truly happy, that is kind of the point to life, so laughter is definitely to be recommended. There are theories that laughter can help cure organic diseases as well as psychological illness, but it remains to be seen if this is regarded as a new form of alternative medicine."
Dr Bella Merlin, lecturer in drama at Birmingham University
"Humour must reflect what people can relate to. We've stopped believing in marriage as permanent, or even happy. Audiences don't buy it. Comic agony is the new trend for making people laugh. Thirty years ago, audiences were meant to laugh at the holiday camp scene in the Carry On film in which Barbara Windsor's bikini top flies off. I'm not speaking from a feminist viewpoint, but we've advanced beyond thinking that a woman being exposed is funny. In the play Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick, there is a scene with Barbara Windsor rehearsing in the rain in her bathing costume and worrying about not exposing her nipples on camera. It's hilarious and agonising because it shows how awful the original situation was for her."
Life & Style blogs
Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
KickAssTorrents down: biggest file-sharing site moves to .cr domain after takedowns
Gisele Bundchen celebrates 20-year catwalk career with naked Vogue cover
The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
Protein World 'Beach body ready' advert: Mass demonstration in Hyde Park planned against 'body-shaming' weight loss advertisements
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Bali Nine executions live: Indonesian firing squad shoots dead eight drug offenders despite outcry around world, but a ninth is spared
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
- 1 Avengers: Age of Ultron: Nearly 700 German cinemas refuse to show movie
- 2 Man cooked alive with 12,000 pounds of tuna
- 3 X Factor in crisis as numbers of people auditioning plummets
- 4 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
- 5 Baltimore riots: Furious mother marches her son home live on TV
£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm of accountants based ...
£30000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a financial services c...
£30000 - £32000 per annum + car allowance and on call: Ashdown Group: A succes...
£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Well established small company ...