The Cam FM Giggler

Cambridge University and Anglia Ruskin’s radio station, Cam FM, debuted their brand-new show, The Cam FM Giggler,  at 08:30 on Friday night. Cam FM put out an open call for student submissions to have their jokes played live on air, hosted and produced by Hattie Nash. The show featured sketches, stand-up, and good old-fashioned wordplay – but don’t despair if you missed it, because it’s still available on-demand here.

Each sketch was only a few minutes long, likely to pre-empt any jokes that didn’t land, which could quickly be cut off in a sort of mercy-killing. The short, snappy format worked well, particularly for a radio audience. Unlike a live show, the comedians couldn’t rely on physical comedy or even a wry smile in order to cue a laugh from the audience – still, I found myself chuckling along to some well-delivered one-liners. Maybe not all the laughs were totally deserving, but we could all do with laughing a little more easily these days.

As predicted, the showcase was somewhat inadvertently pandemic themed. And, although I’m sure we’re all growing a little tired of corona-comedy, many of the contributors did find new ways to put a spin on year-old jokes that are rapidly wearing out.

“Maybe not all the laughs were totally deserving, but we could all do with laughing a little more easily these days.”

A highlight for me was astronomy, ′not Astrology’, PhD student, Andy Bucks, who lamented the difficulties of moving back home after you ran out of things to talk about with your parents in the car. Perhaps derived from his lack of communication at home, Bucks takes great umbrage with what he believes to be David Hume’s unearned fame. He also has a question for the audience: ‘Does anyone else have that thing when they handle polystyrene too roughly and their toes start pulsating?’

Although many of the show’s skits were pandemic themed, Hasan Al-Habib chose a different depressing topic to riff on. Hasan hilariously recalls growing up in a predominately white British town and the difficulties of being the only Arab Muslim in his class, especially post-9/11. It was refreshing to hear comedy that wasn’t COVID themed. In these dark times, a lot of us are seeking refuge in the fantastical and nonsensical. Even if that refuge is 9/11 jokes… Frankie Boyle would be proud.

“In these dark times, a lot of us are seeking refuge in the fantastical and nonsensical.”

One skit by Galpin and Maury proved a guilty favourite, as they took on the role of inspectors at the ‘Wordplay Police Station’. A musician has suffered ‘a very violin-t death’,and the suspect is now ‘in Haydn’. ‘Accordion to the evidence’ they’re going to have to make a ‘concerted effort’ to crack this case. I can hear your groans, dear reader, but let me remind you of my previous statement that we could all stand to laugh a little easier these days (and recognise the glory of puns).


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Finally, David Lever recalled his last holiday before COVID. His final jaunt abroad to Finland didn’t go quite as planned, despite his attempts to take in all the sights. Many of Lever’s jokes fell a little flat on the ski slopes, but his bit was building to a joke I am a little ashamed to have laughed a little too long at: ‘I hate mountain rescue because it’s lazy….and that’s a hill I’m willing die on’.

The showcase finished up at just 30 minutes – a bite-size antidote to lockdown blues. I look forward to what else Cambridge’s famed comedians can come up with while procrastinating their supervision work at home.