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A collaboration between the Centre for Language, Discourse & Communication, Health Communication Lab and Whole Lotta Comedy, this event combines comedy performances by award-winning stand-ups who also work as health practitioners with a discussion on the potential role of stand-up as health communication.

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In the world of stand-up comedy, health matters are increasingly being integrated into stand-up routines, often by current or former health practitioners. These routines have the potential (whether intended or not) to influence audience decisions about their health. This event brings together comedians, comedy promoters, health practitioners, students, health researchers and community researchers and activists to reflect on what experiences of health communication bring to stand-up comedy and what comedy could potentially bring to health communication. 

With Adam Bloom (Mock the Week, Never Mind the Buzzcocks) acting as MC, three award-winning stand-ups – Kwame Asante, Stefania Licari and Benji Waterhouse – will perform routines that draw upon their experience as health practitioners in front of a live and online audience.

The comedians and audience will then reflect and discuss four themes – the conscious and unconscious health messages of comedy, the ethical implications of using health (eg patient experiences) in comedy, how health-based comedy is tailored to different audiences and how comedy informs health practice.

The event and follow-up podcast will lay the groundwork for collaboration between stand-ups, health practitioners, health researchers and community researchers and activists to address an absence of research into the role of stand-up comedy in influencing health behaviour.

Stand-up comedians and speakers:

Adam Bloom

Adam Bloom

Winner of the Time Out Comedy Award, Adam is a British comedian whose career has included seven sold out solo runs at the Edinburgh Festival and a sell-out tour of the UK. He has had three series on BBC Radio 4, entitled The Problem with Adam Bloom, and his TV credits include: Mock the Week (BBC Two), The Stand Up Show (BBC One), Never Mind the Buzzcocks (BBC Two) and Russell Howard’s Good News (BBC Three).


Benji Waterhouse

Benji is an award-winning comedian and NHS doctor specialising in psychiatry. While featuring on a 2019 list of 'Inspiring Psychiatrists' by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, his comedy provides a “fly-on-the-padded-wall” account of mental health. His work on a trial for the use of psilocybin (magic mushrooms) to treat depression is being filmed as a BBC documentary. He also writes for the Guardian and is working on a psychiatric memoir: You don’t have to be mad to work here.


Kwame Asante

A member of the Royal College of Physicians and Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Kwame draws upon his work as an A&E doctor and his Ghanaian background in his comedy. Winner of the Chortle Student comedian of the year and best newcomer nominee at the Edinburgh Comedy awards, his latest show at the Edinburgh Fringe received critical acclaim. His TV and radio work has included a pilot for Radio 4.


Stefania Licari

Stefania is an Italian NHS intensive care doctor and a comedian. As her alter-ego Dr Anna LaRosa – star of her multi-award-winning web-based series My Doctor’s Advice – she is now performing her debut solo show Medico. Opening to critical acclaim, this “marries physical gags, jokes and true stories from the medical frontline with Stefania’s own experience as an Italian doctor in the UK”.

At this event

Chris Tang

Lecturer in International Education & Applied Linguistics

Hilary Jones

Faculty Research and Impact Manager

Event details

Room MB4.2
Macadam Building
Macadam Building, Surrey Street, London, WC2R 2NS