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Fun and Joke Aside: Blakka Ellis and Michael Abrahams Explore Serious Side of Comedy

Owen Blakka Ellis and Michael Abrahams for 'Fun and Joke Aside'

The ability to mine humour from the horrible or to use laughter to mask and mitigate pain is a significant part of the Jamaican identity epitomized in the proverbs ‘tek bad tings mek laugh’ and ‘tek kin teet kibba heart bun”. Two of Jamaica’s leading comedians, Owen Blakka Ellis and Dr. Michael Abrahams will be diving behind this in the talk dubbed ‘Fun and Joke Aside’, on Sunday, April 12, 2015 at 11:00 am.

‘Fun and Joke Aside’ is being staged by the Department of Literatures in English at the University of the West Indies, Mona in collaboration with Blue Moon Publishing. Organizers of the event are promising a morning equally rich in wit as in insight, as these two celebrated comedians explore comedy as a tool for social change.

Owen Blakka Ellis is a writer, actor and educator. Known mostly for three decades of work as a comedian, he has written for stage, screen and television as well as taught English, Literature and Theatre Arts at the secondary and tertiary levels. Ellis has a deep interest in the intersection of gender, culture and the environment which all coalesced in his first full collection of poetry Riddim & Riddles (Blouse & Skirt Books). 

Dr. Michael Abrahams is a medical doctor and columnist by day and poet and comedian by night. He has had a prolific career in satirical poetry that has brought him to stages across Jamaica including several poetry and literary festivals. Abrahams is particularly known for his political satire. He has tackled issues as varied as Jamaica’s 50th independence to Tessanne’s conquering of The Voice, and the public debate surrounding Hon. Minister Lisa Hanna and Father Richard Ho Lung, and most recently the fire that engulfed Riverton and covered Kingston in smoke.   

‘Fun and Joke Aside’ borrows its name from one of the poems in Ellis’ Riddim & Riddles. The event will take place at the Neville Hall Lecture Theatre, at 11:00 am.