Make Me Laugh: Creativity in the British television comedy industry

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The three-year (2012–2015) AHRC-funded research project Make Me Laugh: Creativity in the British Television Comedy Industry worked with writers, producers, directors and other industry personnel to map the productions they work on and follow their labor as they move from one job to another and strive to maintain a career. This article draws on interview material from this project to investigate the ways in which comedy workers negotiate the maintenance of their creativity within economic, cultural and industrial contexts such as policy, funding, and the whims of broadcasters and production companies. It argues that while such contexts are evident for all cultural production, there are specifics of the comedy sector because of humor’s relationships with the social role of broadcasting. It therefore highlights the specificity of comic creative labor, contributing to ongoing Humor Studies debates focused on the particularities of comedy as a category.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157–174
Issue number2
Early online date12 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - May 2016


  • creativity
  • television
  • comedy industry
  • BBC
  • creative industries
  • creative labour

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