Comedians often go out of their way to highlight their own absurdities and shortcomings, for the sake of their audience’s entertainment. Because of that, Robin Ince believes comedy is a great platform from which to understand the peculiarities of the human race.
In his new book I’m a Joke and So Are You: A Comedian’s Take on What Makes Us Human (£16.99, Atlantic Books) he touches on trauma, anxiety and grief, as well as imagination, creativity and humour. He gets neuroscientists, psychologists and other comedians to weigh in on the quirks of the human mind.
In this Science Focus Podcast he talks to BBC Focus editorial assistant Helen Glenny about all of that, as well as about the role of comedy beyond just making people laugh, where to draw the line on offensive jokes, and whether comedy and tragedy are inextricably linked.