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COMEDY AGAINST WORK: M.E. O’Brien in Conversation with Madeline Lane-McKinley

March 24, 7:00 pm-8:30 pm

Work is a joke. Laughing at it is political. Humor, Groucho Marx asserted, is “reason gone mad.” For Walter Benjamin, laughter was “the most revolutionary emotion.” In a moment when great numbers of people are reevaluating their commitment to the hellscape we call “work,” what does it mean to take comedy seriously—and to turn it against work?

Both philosophically brilliant and deeply personal, "Comedy Against Work" demonstrates how laughing about work can puncture the pretensions of tyrannical bosses while uniting us around a commitment to radically new ways of making the world together. At the same time, Lane-McKinley exposes a war at the heart of contemporary comedy between those who see comedy as a weapon for punching down and those whose laughter points to social transformation. From stand-up to sitcoms, podcasts to late night, comedy reveals our longing to subvert power, escape the prison of work, and envision the joys of a liberated world.

Copies of Madeline Lane-McKinley’s "Comedy Against Work" as well as M.E. O’Brien and Eman Abelhadi’s "Everything for Everyone" are available at the Bureau’s physical and online stores ( Copies of both books will be available for purchase at the event. Thank you for supporting the Bureau by purchasing books from us!

Registration is not required. Seating is first come, first served. Also live-streaming at Suggested donation $10 to benefit the Bureau’s work. All are welcome to attend, with or without donation – we will pass a bag for donations at the start of the event, but we can also take credit card donations at the register or on Venmo @bgsqd.


March 24
7:00 pm-8:30 pm
Event Category:


Virtual or In Person