Steve Martin, image by Jane Sharp (The Hatch Agency), courtesy of Masterclass

100 Tips on Creating Comedy and 55 Black and POC comedians to Watch

Madhvi Ramani
11 min readJul 7, 2020

What’s the point of comedy?

I’ve been holding off publishing this one for a while now, since there seem to be many more important things going in the world that need space. While we are talking about Black Lives Matter, racial, environmental and social justice, it seems frivolous to think about what makes good comedy. Shouldn’t we be using our energy and voices in a more useful way?

We need you to make comedy because life fucking sucks right now — Judd Apatow.

It’s a question I discussed on my recent podcast episode on Satire, Pranks and How Making Jokes can Smash the Patriarchy, which made me reflect on the ways comedy can serve as an effective means of subversion, processing, and diversion in hard times.

Award-winning comedian Dave Chappelle recently released 8.46, which is the amount of time that a police officer knelt on George Floyd’s neck cutting off his air supply and murdering him. It was the first live show after the coronavirus lockdown in the United States, and Chappelle effectively uses his platform and voice as a multi award-winning comedian to address the issue. Similarly, when Hannah Gadsby broke the comedic form a few years ago in her stand up show Nanette, it was chilling and impactful for the plight of women and the…