Salon / NetworkComedy

PopChange Salon Series: Stand-up Comedy & The Critical Conversation



Tuesday, 28 September 2021


16:30-18:30 BST


Online (Zoom)




Hosted by


Salon / NetworkComedy

PopChange Salon Series: Stand-up Comedy & The Critical Conversation

Join a live recording and reflective discussion of the new “But Is It Funny?” Podcast exploring current issues, diverse voices and criticism in the comedy scene.

Join Counterpoints Arts for the next event in our PopChange Salon Series featuring a live recording of our new podcast “But Is It Funny?” which puts comedy criticism in the spotlight. Panellists Suchandrika Chakrabarti (comic and writer), Jamal Khadar (writer and researcher) and Brian Logan (comedy critic for The Guardian) will be discussing current issues in stand-up and highlighting upcoming gigs and events. 

Following the recording, PopChange Salon Series host, K Biswas, will lead a reflective discussion where you can have your say on what topics you think future episodes should be covering. The aim  is to extend and diversify comedy criticism, bringing a wider range of insights into mainstream and emerging work.  

About the “But Is It Funny?” Podcast

Launched in September 2021, this weekly podcast features Suchandrika Chakrabarti (comic and writer), Jamal Khadar (writer and researcher) and Brian Logan (comedy critic for The Guardian) discussing issues and highlights of the stand-up comedy scene in the UK. 

Building on Counterpoints Arts’ No Direction Home comedy project — which trains a new generation of stand-up comedians with migrant and refugee backgrounds — and its recent PopChange Retreat, “But Is It Funny?” recognises that more diverse critical conversations can have a significant role in opening access and broadening audiences. For example, is improv discriminatory? Do Middle Eastern performers only make jokes about terrorists? Can refugees ever be funny?

While comedy has soared in popularity across the UK and internationally, critical conversations have continued to be less prominent than for other artforms. “But Is It Funny?”, the first regular podcast to focus on comedy criticism, will help address that shortcoming.


Hosted by Counterpoints ArtsPopChange Initiative, this is the second of five PopChange Salons in 2021 exploring the opportunities for real change presented within the New Brave world Report (2021), hosted by K Biswas. The Salon Series will explore racial justice, comedy, TV, gaming and narrative change. To be updated of future Salons in the series, sign up to our mailing list.

Recommended background reading

New Brave World a new report by Alice Sachrajda and Marzena Zukowska that explores the power, opportunities and potential of pop culture for social change in the UK. The report is supported by Unbound Philanthropy and builds on Riding the Waves, a scoping study on the same theme published in 2017.

Joining us on Zoom

After registering on Eventbrite, you will receive a Zoom link by email one day prior to the event.


The podcast will be live recorded in video and audio format, however, the live audience will not be visible. The reflective discussion will also be recorded and made available online, however, only those that choose to participate in the discussion with their camera on will be visible.

Social media

We’d love you to join the conversation online using the hashtag #popxchange or via our social media channels: Twitter // Instagram // Facebook


K Biswas


K Biswas is a critic and essayist on everything from populism to the politics of grime music. In 2019, he founded The Race Beat, a network for journalists of colour working in the UK, and is the Director of Resonance FM, and the editor of Representology: The Journal of Media and Diversity.

Suchandrika Chakrabarti


Suchandrika Chakrabarti is a broadcaster, writer and comedian. She is currently a co-host on the Counterpoints Arts comedy criticism podcast, But Is It Funny?, with Brian Logan and Jamal Khadar. She has also co-hosted Podcast Radio Hour on BBC Radio 4 Extra, and is a regular guest on the multi-award-winning news podcast, The Week Unwrapped.

Jamal Khadar


Jamal Khadar is a writer and researcher. He has written about comedy and identity for the Guardian. As a social researcher, he works to help organisations understand people, culture and new behaviour. Jamal also performs improv at theatres in London and Amsterdam and hosts a hobby pop culture radio show.

Brian Logan


Brian Logan is the Guardian's comedy critic and the artistic director of Camden People's theatre (which partnered with Counterpoints Arts to create the No Direction Home stand-up comedy project).

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