From Oct through Jan we have tons of side-splitting film and TV for you, whether you like your comedy straight-up, slapstick or smutty.
Events and strands
Comic interviews, Q&As and other special events.
Funny women switching it up on screen.
Individuals with a gift for mayhem.
Tickle your funny bone in our Comedy Genius weekends.
Sensationally silly films for all the family.
Taking down the regime one joke at a time.
Keep calm and chuckle on.
Festive Ho Ho Ho’s.
“Comedy is a distortion of what is happening, and there will always be something happening”
There’s nothing better than laughing together in the cinema. But great comedy can also challenge us to think.
Fooling about became a fine art through the early decades of cinema, but comedy genius is too often under-recognised. It’s the gift of perfect timing, an expertly executed sight-gag, a zinging wise-crack, a giddy rush of manic energy. Whether perfectly choreographed, brutally raw, or conjured out of improvisation and collaboration, the best comedy is ultimately disruptive. It punctures pomposity, and blows a raspberry at social convention: the proto-feminist whiplash of screwball wit, the rambunctious working-class revolt of Carry On, the purposeful anarchy of alternative comedy. Our nation-wide season brings the acknowledged comedy greats back to the big screen for everyone to enjoy, and celebrates a new wave of talent on TV and online that’s changing the face of what – and who – we find funny.
“You’ll see it’s all a show
Keep ‘em laughing as you go,
Just remember that
the last laugh is on you...”
Monty Python’s Life of Brian
“How can you make jokes about Hitler?” Mel Brooks was asked on release of his film The Producers in 1967. He said he wanted “to rob Hitler of his posthumous power and myths.” Charlie Chaplin and Ernst Lubitsch courted controversy much earlier, using comedy to lampoon the führer at the height of his power in films which have since been accorded classic status. Laughter isn’t just a little light relief in serious times, it can be a political strategy and expression of freedom.
See the December TV preview of Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas Special.
Coming in January: a season of Laurel and Hardy, and more Comedy Genius across the UK.
Comedy Cuts: Barbershops & Black Comedy Legends
From 16-18 November, Foyer
The Comedy Genius season takes place at venues across the UK and on BFI Player.