Maeve Higgins an antidote 'lazy shock stuff' of comedy

A comic advocating the role of the heckler in comedy

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Maeve Higgins an antidote 'lazy shock stuff' of comedy

Irish comic Maeve Higgins is chatting to me from a New York which is just recovering from a tornado. As far as metaphors go, it’s as far as you could possibly get to encapsulating the comedy ethos of this breezy Celt. With Josie Long a pal and having performed a kids show with David O’Doherty, Higgins belongs to the breed of sensitive comedians that is miles away from the obscenity-friendly gagmeisters who have been filling the Daily Mail’s letters pages since Sachsgate. ‘There are so many shows that I’ve seen that are deliberately provocative and I find that so boring,’ mildly states Higgins. ‘I like people who are silly and funny but are being truthful and can express themselves honestly, not just doing, “hey, a rape gag”. The weird thing is how passive audiences are, I think people should heckle more. I saw a gig in New York last night where the host was so misogynist and homophobic and talking about shooting his girlfriend in the face, and some people were sitting there smiling who were clearly not enjoying it.’

A comic advocating a role for the heckler in comedy is certainly a rare thing, especially from someone who had various objects hurled at her during a student gig in Dundalk when she started talking about her cats. ‘If I was saying something that had offended people, I think it would be OK for someone to say something about it. Just because I have a mic doesn’t mean that my opinions are more important than them. Some of my comedian friends disagree; they think you should say anything and no one should try to stop it. But I’m so sick of people getting away with lazy shock stuff.’

The Stand, Edinburgh, Thu 7–Sat 9 Oct

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