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Author: Jack Bernhardt

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Twitter’s ‘PC brigade’ aren’t killing comedy – they’re shining a light on bigotry | Jack Bernhardt

The BBC comedy chief says social media is stopping comedy from testing boundaries. Has he seen Fleabag and Derry Girls?

Great leaps forward in comedy happen by asking the big questions. What if you created a show that unapologetically showed the horror of war? You get M*A*S*H. What if you created a sitcom about nothing? You get Seinfeld. What if you filmed a dog falling into an indoor swimming pool while a disembodied Harry Hill makes snide comments about the wood panelling? You get You’ve Been Framed from 2004 onwards. And so we witnessed another great moment in comedy this week, when the BBC’s head of comedy asked the question we didn’t realise needed to be asked: is comedy dying because the internet is turning people into Victorians?

Last week, at the launch of the well-meaning British Comedy Foundation, Shane Allen railed against the way social media has imposed a “Victorian moral code” on comedians, which damages the medium’s ability to “test boundaries and challenge orthodoxies”.

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Voicemails are unacceptable. But I do have a solution for delivering stressful news

I’m far from alone in my fear of people leaving me messages – and phone, email, text, Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook are no better. So I’ve come up with a cake-based solution

I’m a millennial and I hate voicemails. They are up there with my most millennial of phobias; meeting a real-life Ross Geller; going to a restaurant that doesn’t give you the option of adding halloumi to a breakfast.

I hate the little tape cassette icon that won’t go away, haunting you even after you have listened to the voicemail, as if Edgar Allan Poe designed app notifications. I hate the opacity of the message, with no information about the contents unless you listen to it, making it an ominous lucky dip of opportunity or disaster.

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