Laughter is the best medicine
25 April 2021
Reporter: Sandra Giorgetti
UK comedy, like all live performance sectors, has suffered immeasurably from successive lockdowns and venue closures, with 50% of all workers in the industry reporting a loss of over half of their income. 60% of comics report having made less than 5% of their pre-pandemic income from online work.
The same survey of comedians and other professionals in the sector also revealed that 57% did not expect to see pre-COVID levels of activity until 2022 or even later, with 81% reporting a negative impact on their mental health.
Notably comedy does not and never has received any public funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Music, and Sport.
In addition to this research from the Live Comedy Association for its #SaveLiveComedy campaign, headache tablet brand Panadol also surveyed adults and found that—unsurprisingly—live comedy is a good source of laughter.
But laughter is no joke; their survey was inspired by laughter's role in the tolerance of pain and it also revealed that over the last 12 months one in three adults laughed less and had more headaches.
The lockdown roadmap arrived very late for many struggling comedy workers, and Panadol is supporting the Live Comedy Association fundraising campaign for the Save Live Comedy hardship fund for people in the sector who are facing extreme financial difficulty.
The well known brand is also making available an exclusive three-month free trial of premium comedy content on streaming platform NextUp, the “Nextflix of comedy”.
Donations can be made online at SaveLiveComedy;
Applications to the Fund, which will distribute grants of £500 focussing on those who are self-employed, unemployed, or who run an organisation that has been ineligible for any existing government support can be made online.