Changing the world, one joke at a time: Finger Awards by Comedy for Change
“Comedy for Change is an international community of A-list writers who feel the responsibility to use their craft and platform for social change,” said Marcus.
By HANNAH BROWN
They say laughter is the best medicine, but it also has the power to create social change, and Finger Awards to be given out on December 5 at the Content London event in Kings Place in London, sponsored by the organization Comedy for Change, will honor those whose comedy has had an impact on society.Omri Marcus, the director of the competition and the founder of Comedy for Change, said, “It was George Orwell that once said that every joke is a tiny revolution. It is clear today the unique power of comedy to shake perceptions, raise awareness, ridicule social injustice and sometimes even literally change legislation. Our international community is all about join forces to educate and collaborate.”The Finger Awards initiative is truly global in scale and was led by a steering committee that includes famous names from all around the world, including multiple Emmy Award winner Rob Kutner from the US (Conan, The Daily Show), Alessandra Orofino from Brazil (The Gregg Show), comedian Dan Ilic from Australia and Keri Lewis Brown from the UK (K7Media).“Comedy for Change is an international community of A-list writers who feel the responsibility to use their craft and platform for social change,” said Marcus.Nominations for the first Finger Awards included 80 candidates from over 30 countries and included stand-up routines, trolling acts, TV shows, ad campaigns, podcasts and more.In addition, the community will grant a lifetime achievement award for outstanding contribution to society to someone who has been tireless in their efforts to raise awareness of issues of importance using comedy.The issues that come up in the awards finalists’ comedy are as varied as the comedians themselves, including Nigerian political corruption, James Corden’s response to Bill Maher’s call to bring back fat-shaming, breaking stereotypes about Muslims, abortion, a tampon tax, misleading credit card terms and more.AdvertisementMarcus is a 21st century Israeli renaissance man, who became a writer on the comedy series, Eretz Nehederet, when he was in his early 20s and has written for and created several comic and reality series. He is also the head of Screenz Originals, a global company that creates entertainment-driven, interactive customer experiences and volunteers as head of publicity for Eye from Zion, a humanitarian organization that performs free medical surgeries in Third World countries. The organization, established by his father in 2007, has saved the sight of hundreds of people (mainly children) around the world.Marcus is mindful of the fact that, while it is important to take the power of comedy to change hearts and minds seriously, it’s also key that comedy remain irreverent and funny, especially in an age when political correctness has many in the entertainment industry afraid to say a word for fear of causing offense.“It’s complicated,” he admitted. “That’s the million-dollar question, how to be funny in the age of political correctness... I think this attitude is more dominant in the US than the rest of the world. But that’s the question that people in comedy are asking themselves, is the current situation good for comedy or bad?”Although that question may never be answered definitively, Comedy for Change and the Finger Awards will continue to seek out the finest in socially engaged comedy.“Our goal is to change the world one joke at a time,” said Marcus.