Great Comedy Proves that it’s What We Share that is Important and not What Makes us Different

Have you heard the news? For the sixth year in a row, Melbourne has been voted as the world’s most livable city, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. This annual rating scores over 140 major cities across the globe, ranking them according to certain criteria. Melbourne scored an impressive 97.5 out of 100, with Adelaide coming in fifth place and Perth in seventh place.

According to the experts at the Economist, Melbourne comes out tops in several key areas: stability, healthcare, infrastructure, education, culture and the environment. It’s not something that comes as much of a surprise for those of us who have travelled to or stayed in the area, and an aspect that I have always enjoyed about the city is its sheer cultural diversity. It’s said that there are more than 200 countries represented in Melbourne and more than 230 languages and dialects spoken. There are over 100 religious faiths present and almost half of all residents were either born overseas or have a parent who was born in another country.

The average day in Melbourne means we’ll be in interacting with people from vastly different backgrounds and ways of life than us and I believe that there is a need for us to find a common ground that unites and not divides. Of course, one of the best common grounds across culture is humour.

On the surface, you would think that it isn’t possible to find common ground across various divides. After all, irony, wit, cynical humour, sarcasm and puns might not translate well. I believe that all it takes is a keen eye to find out what we have in common and to create something that will be found universally funny…

As a corporate comedian who was born into an Italian family in Australia and entertains all kinds of people all over the country, I know better than most what it is like to juggle cultures using humour. I have found that at the end of the day, it’s what we share that is important and not what makes us different from each other. I try to integrate this into my stand-up comedy routines and live comedy events and DVDs and if the response I get is anything to go by, Melburnians appreciate humour and diversity as much as I do – and I believe that our sense of humour is what makes our culture so great!