Event 238

Beyond Belief. Religion and Humour: How far can you go?

BBC Radio Four

BBC Tent

When it comes to religion, what is an acceptable target? God surely must enjoy a joke. Why else would he have created mankind? But are those who worship him fair game for comedians? Undoubtedly certain religions have been the source of much humour. Jewish comics such as Joan Rivers, Woody Allen and Groucho Marx have always been willing to make fun of their culture but should comedians also poke fun at their religion, and how do you disentangle culture from religion? If you enjoy laughing at the culture and beliefs of your own community, is it acceptable to make jokes about a culture and religion to which you do not belong? Where should we draw the line between freedom of speech and the need to respect the beliefs of others? Taking a look at religion and humour is a multi-faith panel of comedians, including Muslim comedian Tez Ilyas, to discuss the question: how far can you go?

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