There’s no denying that Australia’s been going through some dark times. Major parts of our country have been ravaged by devastating bushfires that have destroyed thousands of hectares of land, homes, businesses and even claimed the lives of many humans and animals.
There is one silver lining to the bushfire crisis, and that is our country’s ability to band together, support each other and most importantly, find a reason to smile in the midst of disaster.
Laughing so you don’t cry is something Aussie comedian Simon Taylor is well versed in. Having written for the likes of Jay Leno and Shaun Micallef, Taylor gave the latest episode of It’s Been A Big Day For… some much needed comic relief before he kicks off his national tour next month. Listen to the episode below:
“A laugh sometimes feels like a resolution to something,” Taylor says. “You know an awkwardness is over when you can laugh about it – if you have an uncomfortable moment with someone.”
“Comedy in dark times is an indication that we’re over it,” he added. “Certainly for us, our dark times with us recently have been with the bushfires and a lot of anger directed at our government.”
“At some point, comedians will start going ‘old mate Hawaii boy,’” he said, referring to Scott Morrison’s unfavourable Hawaiian holiday amidst the bushfire crisis. “When people can laugh at it, they’ll know that we’ve moved past the anger stage and it’s resolved at least emotionally.”
“Every comedy show we’ve done in the past month, the profits have gone to bushfire relief,” Taylor said. “Everyone’s getting behind it.”
He’s not wrong – since the bushfires reached crisis point, Aussie comedian Celeste Barber has single-handedly raised over $50M for bushfire relief, fellow comedian Magda Szubanski and Will ‘Eggboy’ Connelly teamed up to raise funds to cover the costs of victims’ mental health, and there have been countless comedy shows with ticket sales going direct to supporting those who need help the most.
During our chat with Simon Taylor, he also spoke about the fine line between reality and comedy, being a ‘softie’ when it comes to roast jokes, the power of nailing a joke and the importance of ending it on a laugh.