Veteran Ghanaian Broadcaster, Tommy Annan Forson, has urged comedians to know the parameters within which they can joke.
According to him, people react differently to jokes and it would be to a comedian’s benefit to know which jokes to tell, when to tell them and how to tell them.
Speaking on Showbiz A-Z Mr. Forson revealed that “there was a time when a comedian went on stage and started telling vulgar jokes. A former first lady walked out because she was there with her children.”
“So when you see that happen, you might have half of the audience enjoying it and others saying it’s a bit sensitive, so you should know your parameters, you should know when to cross the line,” he said on Saturday.
Tommy Annan Forson also disclosed that he once received backlash for imitating someone with a bad leg.
He stated that he has over the years learnt to make jokes out of real situations instead and not people’s trauma, and deformity among others.
“So for me, you might just know your parameters. Americans might act differently, Ghanaians might act differently, the British might act differently, so everybody’s level of humour differs in every sense,” he added.
He explained that for instance, telling a joke about an experience with a runny stomach while in a taxi that is driving slow could solely depend on the way he tells such serious stories and the expressions he associated them with.
“After being thrown under the bus [for imitating someone with a bad leg], I said to myself, ‘Okay our humour might be different, everybody’s humour is different, we act differently in some situations’. Your emotions might say ‘I snapped’, but again I dare say Will Smith could have restrained himself.”
This comes after Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock at the Oscars show on Sunday.
The King Richard star walked to the stage and slapped Rock for saying Jada could star in G.I. Jane 2 due to her shaved head.
Rock was apparently unaware Jada suffers from alopecia. After the slap, Will then returned to his seat but dropped several F-bombs, yelling at Rock not to talk about his wife. Earlier in the show, co-host Regina Hall made a joke about Will and Jada’s open marriage, so things were already simmering.
Meanwhile, Mr. Tommy Annan Forson has advised comedians to use their audience’s reactions as a means of judging whether or not their jokes may have offended people.
He explained that “if you crack a joke and they don’t laugh, that is when you go to plan B. I need to know what to say, how to say it and why it should be said.”