R. J. Kinnarney
Watching Dave Allen: God's own Comedian on @BBCiPlayer made me think about how laughter makes us human, how humour is so personal and makes us the individual human we are.
I used to watch Dave Allen with my parents and the only memories I have of it are that I found much of it very funny and my Dad found it absolutely hilarious, to the point where there would be tears rolling down his face. I'm pretty sure that it was the former altar boy in him that found a lot of it so funny; much of the observational comedy was Dad's lived experience, I think.
Humour, for me, is the ability to look around us and at ourselves and see the absurdity in things which we have been trained to take for granted; it's the ability to question whether what we've been taught is valid, or indeed true. Obviously, in Dave Allen's case, a great deal of this revolved around the Catholic Church, and that wasn't everyone's cup of tea (or glass of whiskey!) but, surely, it's important to question what we're told, rather than blindly to believe? And what better way to question than through humour. Humour feels safe; we can take from it what we want.
Dave Allen wasn't just a comedian, of course, he was an enquiring man, who loved the eccentricity of humans and this he dealt with in a sensitive, accepting way. Some might say that, ironically, he dealt with the eccentrics he interviewed in a truly Christian way but surely he was just being human?
"May your God go with you."
View the programme here: