Johnny Tait on Why comedians shouldn’t swear

Why did the Chicken cross the F***ing road?”

chicken roadIf we used the F word in what may well be the oldest joke in the book, would that make it funny?

I say no!

There is nothing funny about using foul language. So why do so many comedians swear?

Having worked as a stand-up comedian for more years than I care to admit and having had the pleasures of performing alongside numerous other comics, my experience tells me that a good comedian will not swear because –

A: He doesn’t need to if his delivery, timing and choice of material is correct. Foul language will not make a gag funny or funnier.

B: It will limit the venues that he would be able to work. Holiday Parks and Cruise Liners would be out for starters. There have been many times when I have performed in social clubs and seen notices on the wall stating “Any persons using foul abusive language will be asked to leave and their membership will be revoked” So what would happen if an act that was paid to perform used foul language? Would that create a problem for the committee?

So why am I writing this feature?

After a busy December, in which after every gig I done people were coming up to me and complimenting me on the fact that I didn’t swear. It now seems that people are surprised to see a comic and not hear him swear.

I admit in the novels ‘Conscience’ and ‘Factor 2025’ which I have written, there is limited amount of bad language, but only because it is relevant to the character and the conversation taking place. (Sadly there are a lot of people that cannot express themselves without using bad language)

Throughout the years that I have worked in showbiz I have seen a great many acts come and go, the comedians that have stood the test of time and their acts have blossomed i.e Adger Brown and Tank Sherman, have done so because they do not need to swear in order to be funny.

So if you want to make a career as a stand-up comic, cut out the foul language you plonker.

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