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Navigating Sensitive Topics in Comedy: Tips and Experiences from Comedians

In summary, Leesa was nervous before her show because her hostess had warned her not to mention birthdays or holidays because they are Jehovah's Witness. However, she managed to do the show and met some nice people. Her show was fair, but she got a booking because the woman she was working for was responsive.
Hi! I was recently doing a show for a friend of a friend and right before it started, she took me aside and told me not to mention birthdays or holidays because they were Jehovah's Witness. Well, of course that was all I could think about (don't think about a pink elephant) and while I made it thru the show, I was extra nervous about messing up and offending them. Has anyone encountered something like this and how did or would you handle it?

Thanks, y'all are awesome - I'm so glad I found this site!
Hi Leesa,

I think your hostess made you more nervous just by mentioning it!
I don't think you should worry about offending someone who doesn't celebrate holidays/birthdays (actually a Jehovah Witness does not celebrate anything..); if you would have slipped up, I'm sure they would be understanding, as it is common for you to celebrate these things, it is natural to say "Celebrate plate: good for anniversaries, birthdays, etc" or something like that. I had the pleasure of growing up with my best friend (since we were 6) and her and her family are of the Jehovah Witness religion. I got a pretty in depth look on the inside even though I was on the outside (not a witness). As with all religions, every parish is different with the same core values. I, still to this day, accidently mention X-mas, birthdays, etc. around them, and it has never once offended them or others of their parish.
As you knew before your party they did not celebrate these things, it would be common courtesy to not mention them, which you did, and thats great...but I wouldn't let it bother you if those things actually had slipped out. As I said earlier, its natural for you...
Just my 2 cents...
Hope it was a great party!!
Angela :D
BabblingI'm impressed you managed to do the show under that kind of stress (having to think about every word you were saying). I would've ended up babbling, stuttering and having long, awkward pauses!! :eek:
How did the show do, by the way?
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Deborah Czarnecki said:
I'm impressed you managed to do the show under that kind of stress (having to think about every word you were saying). I would've ended up babbling, stuttering and having long, awkward pauses!! :eek:
How did the show do, by the way?

The show was fair, but I had a pretty good time and met some nice people. I got a booking, but the lady is driving me crazy with not returning calls, etc. But that is a whole other posting! :)
Good job on your show! I know that it can be hard to avoid a topic once asked, and it sounds like you did fine!

I am very familiar with Jehovah's Witnesses also, and even if you had slipped up, it would not have been an issue! They are some of the kindest people I know, and it would not have been unusual for them to hear you talk about holidays. It was very considerate of you to take their religion into account when presenting your show!

In the future, you can mention gift-giving, and don't feel like you can't talk about celebrations. Witnesses celebrate, just not holidays or birthdays. They still celebrate weddings, anniversaries, and some other events in personal lives like other religions!

Even though our specials are set up on a "holiday" theme, you can still promote them at your next show. As a family, they still have large family dinners, which is what our Roasting Pan, Meat Lifters, and Carving Set are for!

If you have any other specific questions or apprehensions, please don't hesitate to email me. Be comfortable, and have fun! That's what they are there for!

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