Andy Lee: Comedy “comes down to intent.”

Andy Lee: Comedy “comes down to intent.”

Recent times has seen some jokes on TV causing outrage and leading to protests and apologies.

But if comedy is meant to make us laugh and to provoke, can comedians still deliver material with confidence it will not become tabloid clickbait?

The Hundred‘s Andy Lee maintains Australians usually give comedians the benefit of the doubt. In 2023 he is comfortable politically incorrect subjects are behind us, but is still quite relaxed about being able to do comedy that has edge.

“I am. I don’t think it’s a really big deal as what everyone thinks it is. There was a period where people were trying to find the balance of outrage. But I think it’s come back. We saw that with Sam Pang at the Logies. There were a bunch of things he was saying that were pretty risque, but I thought he did it so well,” he told TV Tonight.

“Comedians have to be a bit more responsible for what they’re saying. With certain views that may be a bit archaic, it’s okay for them not to fly anymore. I think that’s a good thing, that we’re kind of correcting…… obviously, we don’t need people being outraged for outrage sake.

“If you look at the great followings for people like Hamish, Sam Pang, Tom Gleeson, and all these guys, they’re not having any troubles. In fact, they’re going from strength to strength. So I don’t see the problem.”

Lee maintains he has not encountered any problems personally with comedy being misinterpreted or attracting comment.

“Sometimes it can get tricky if I don’t know enough about a topic, I suppose, and you can accidentally say the wrong thing. But I think it comes down to intent. More and more in Australia -particularly- we’re giving people the benefit of the doubt. I think just a few years back, we were reluctant to do so.

“There’s always a big pendulum swing and it’s on its way back now. We probably needed to overcorrect a few of the things and thoughts and stances some of us had. But now I think if we’re back towards the centre and people just look at intent, which is always a good way to approach it.”