A Funny Thing

As soon as they enter the building, all prospective employees* of the mighty Snedden Campbell are asked to complete the following:

“I’ve got nothing against your right leg…”

“Well, we had it tough….”

“Our three main weapons are…”

“These are small…but those out there are far away…”

“Who’re the ‘Britons’?”

I can’t be bothered doing amateur psychology and have formed the view that anyone capable of essaying on the above is unlikely to be all bad. However, a blank look at the mention of Graham Chapman will lead to a short and disappointing conversation.

I expect people to be able to express themselves clearly. Can they speak confidently and, just as important, can they write? I’m particularly interested in how people come across on social media. I’d expect any self-respecting self-promoter to spend time on various platforms telling me not only how clever they are but also being engaging — making me want to read their material to the end.

There’s more. Do you expect me to work with someone unfamiliar with the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy? The radio show, book or original TV series are acceptable but not the film, although I might accept the stage show. Some knowledge of the Discworld would help but be careful not to mention Harry Potter unironically.

You see, I’ve formed the opinion that an understanding of comedy, especially timing, wit and structure is probably essential in a role where you face people every day and have to persuade and influence them.

Now, the worst thing to do with comedy is to analyse it, as soon as you start asking why something is funny, that something usually ceases to be funny. After all the above lines take a dig at our perception of disability, poverty, the Catholic Church, learning disabilities and hereditary rule, not exactly gag-a-minute stuff, so let’s not go there.

This week’s serious question then is, “Is a sense of the absurd important to success?”

I’m going with “Yes”.

*Dogs are exempt

Posted on: 2nd September 2019 by Ivor Campbell

Into his fourth decade of search Ivor has a voice with stories to tell, observations to make and the odd picture to share. Mostly related to the day job.

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