Why we need to get serious about comedy

No one doubts Shakespeare's comedies are art but contemporary comedians are often dismissed in discussions of cultural value.

Image via Shutterstock

Despite a venerable history that stretches back to the earliest days of theatre, comedy still gets a bad rap. Comedians struggle to obtain arts funding to develop new work – many of them seem to believe there’s no point in even applying for an arts grant – and some in the sector still look down their noses at the form, seeing comedy more as entertainment than as art.

Unlock Padlock Icon

Like this content?

Become a Member and unlock unlimited Access today

Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Living Legend in 2017. In 2020 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts