Join Jimmy Carr and Alain de Botton as they explore the power of comedy to shock, provoke, nourish and console.
In his mid-twenties Jimmy Carr found himself stuck in a dead-end corporate marketing job and suffered from depression so severe he couldn’t get out of bed. He began training as a psychotherapist – but found instead that comedy was the force capable of delivering better emotional health.
Now he is known as the most hard-working stand-up in the UK, with tours drawing a quarter of a million fans a year and a weekly Channel 4 quiz watched by 3.5 million viewers. "I'm quite an edgy comic,” he says. “I like dark things. So it's lovely that I've found that many people who share my sense of humour."
In conversation with the writer and philosopher Alain de Botton, Jimmy will explore what comedy is for. Although many of us like comedy a lot, it feels odd to ask basic questions about its purpose. ‘What is comedy for?’ sounds like a leaden inquiry directly opposed to the spirit of humour. But really it is a way of getting more ambitious about what laughter can do for us. Comedy isn’t just a bit of fun. The comic perspective fills a central need of every society; it enables us to cope much better with our own follies and disappointments, our troubles around work and love and our difficulties enduring ourselves.
Comedy is waiting to be reframed as a central tool behind the creation of a better world. Find out how in the company of one of the leading comics of our time.