Get Up, Stand Up

“At the Guild of Fools and Joculators we discourage laughter. Joking is not a laughing matter. ”
Discworld Fools’ Guild Yearbook And Diary 2001

This is a good one.

Apparently you can actually earn a degree in Standup Comedy at the Southampton Solent University. (Formerly known as the Fox and Goose Pub, I guess.)

Brilliant tabloid fodder, surely “this is beyond a joke” and other, similarly hilarious phrases will be sprinkled liberally over coverages.

But there’s more to it than tomfoolery. What happens, for example, if you pass all your exams with flying colours, yet for some weird and inexplicable reason, completely fail to be funny? Do you still get the degree? If you don’t, that’s not really fair, is it? After all, you learned what you had been told to learn, it’s not your fault. But if you do, then your degree, like all degrees should mean that you can be a practitioner of that particular trade. Except that you can’t because you’re missing one (in fact the only) vital ingredient. What can you do with your degree then? Go into advertising or write for Jimmy Carr?

Maybe the whole subject is more serious than it sounds?

Or maybe they should just abandon the whole idea altogether and start a course on pub quizzes. A much simpler and teachable discipline: picture round, music round, general knowledge, snacks every half term, here’s your diploma and if you’re lucky on the raffle, you get your tuition fee back.

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