Using Comedy To Tackle "Sensitive Issues"

21 March 2016 | 1:30 pm | Staff Writer

"How do you get along? How do you not kill each other? — that's the real fun stuff."

Phillip A Mayer's MICF piece Couples! is not your usual comedy show.

"It's about, "Marriage. Divorce. Relationships," says Mayer, and, "Seeing people — friends — fall in love, go through the 'honeymoon' period where everything is perfect, then reality sets in. That transition from a relationship being fun and new and exciting, to the next stage where people start getting sick of each other, and must decide if it's going to work out. Working out that stuff, how a relationship functions — how do you get along? How do you not kill each other? — that's the real fun stuff."

You might think that sounds a little bleak for a comedy, but Mayer disagrees. "I think pretty much everything is open slather," he says. "Comedy is a great way to have a conversation, even about sensitive issues ... There is a line, but each writer or comedian needs to explore that for themselves." You have to admit it's an angle from which relationships are perfect fodder. "Relationships are full of material. I had a girl break into my house and cut off her long hair and throw it around my bedroom once. It's a long story, but damned funny in hindsight.

"Part of comedy is commenting and observing real life, and this show is based on real life, so audiences get to see themselves and people they know represented on stage. It all means audiences get to have a good laugh at themselves, and then they get to go and have a drink and talk about it.

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