Greece finds stand-up comedy amid economic tragedy

News Hour

The crammed basement bar heaves with laughter as the young comedians take to the microphone, riffing on daily life in austerity-slammed Greece.

This is one of a growing number of open mic nights to have sprung up in the past few years as audiences find stand-up comedy in the middle of economic tragedy.

Ancient Greek dramatist Aristophanes known as the Father of Comedy was writing plays that lampooned the worlds of politics, art and philosophy as far back as 425 BC. But stand-up here is a new art form.

“Ten years ago Greeks didn’t know what stand-up was,” says professional comic Andreas Paspatis, 28, the compere of the monthly Open Mic Thessaloniki, in Greece’s second-largest city.

“When I was booking gigs back then we would call the bar and when we said we’re doing stand-up, 90 percent of them would ask, ‘What’s that?'”

In Britain, successful stand-up comedians have a certain status, appearing on television panel shows and often commentating on current affairs and writing newspaper columns.

But, while Greek television features sketch and comedy shows, it has no stand-ups, and there are still only about 20 professionals in the country.

Many people get their first taste watching foreign stand-ups on the internet, says Ira Katsouda, one of Greece’s few female stand-ups, whose own influences include cross-dressing Briton Eddie Izzard and philosophical American Louis CK.

But the Greek crisis has also helped put stand-up in the spotlight and not just because of cheap production costs, says the 33-year-old, ahead of a sell-out show.

“Stand-up comedy is blossoming here. I do believe the crisis has played a big role in this.

“It’s a cheap form of entertainment and in these dark times what I’m going to say is a cliche, but I’m going to say it people need to laugh,” she said.

Avatar

This article has been posted by a News Hour Correspondent. For queries, please contact through [email protected]
No Comments

Translate this News

Join the Facebook Group

Click here to join the Facebook group of News Hour

Popular Posts

Sacred Games exposes Rajshri Deshpande nude [video]
3500 RMG workers in Bangladesh receive banking services for the first time through Sarathi
Ahoy Bangladesh Ltd. making medical treatment in India easy
Anurag Kashyap shoots Kubra Saith 7 times nude and made her cry for frontal nudity scene [Video]
Samsung launches Victory day campaign “Haater Muthhoy Bijoy Ullash” in Bangladesh
Uber received over 3,000 reports of sexual assault related to its 1.3 billion rides in the United States last year

Advertisement

News of the Month

October 2017
S M T W T F S
« Sep   Nov »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  
Scroll Up
%d bloggers like this: