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John Bishop Says He Changes Jokes On TV So People Don't Get Offended

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John Bishop Says He Changes Jokes On TV So People Don't Get Offended

John Bishop has opened up about changing his comedy for telly to avoid offending viewers.

The Scouse comic is fronting a new chat show, creatively titled The John Bishop Show, which starts on ITV on Saturday night - but fans can expect different gags to those which he deploys when he's doing stand-up.

According to the Daily Star, he said: "When I am on tour I can say anything I want on stage and you can work within the parameters of the audience feedback because it's immediate.

Bishop said being a comic on TV is like being a burglar. Credit: Alamy
Bishop said being a comic on TV is like being a burglar. Credit: Alamy
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"When it's on telly I get judged in a different way. If people want to get offended they will get offended before you've even finished your sentence. It gets judged by a different world."

As such, the 55-year-old said he has to adapt his gags to accommodate this different world.

He continued: "When I am on tour, people have bought a ticket to sit in the room with me.

"But the difference with telly is that I am going into someone's living room and they didn't necessarily invite me... you are almost like a burglar.

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"You have got to change things to accommodate as many people as possible without losing the essence of what I do. It's a tightrope that can be walked."

Bishop is, of course, not the first comedian who has had to grapple with the ever-changing culture of offence, coupled with an age of social media which continually takes jokes and removes them from the context in which they were told.

Indeed, this environment has led Jimmy Carr to conclude that he's already told the joke that will end his career.

Carr reckons his days could be numbered. Credit: Alamy
Carr reckons his days could be numbered. Credit: Alamy
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The comedian is known for his risqué gags, and over more than two decades in the business, he's told plenty of them.

But when he was starting out, these jokes existed for just a fleeting moment in a comedy club, whereas nowadays, they are immortalised and decontextualized on YouTube and social media.

This has resulted in countless comedians coming under fire for jokes they told years ago; just a few months ago, Katherine Ryan was defending a joke from a 2013 episode of Mock The Week.

As such, Carr is confident he's already told a career-ending quip.

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Speaking to LADbible in September to promote the release of his memoir-cum-self-help-book, Before & Laughter, the 49-year-old said: "It's a weird thought to think everything I've ever done is being watched today, by someone.

"It's all out there, people are clicking on it, and watching it, and enjoying it. And it's all perfectly acceptable, until one day, it isn't.

"But I suppose that's a reason to relax and sit back and enjoy, because you kind of go, 'Well, it's already out there. The line that ends my career, I've already said it, nothing I can do about it now. Relax'.

"And it's OK, because it was a joke, and jokes are these very special things where you take a very serious thing lightly, and you try and process it and get through it through humour."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: TV and Film

Jake Massey
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