An expert in making people laugh. Philippe Geubels (40) has been active as a professional comedian since 2006 and is considered one of the best in the business. WOKE culture, that aims to address sensitivities and above all the awareness of them, has brought a fresh, all-changing wind to his profession. “I look at it as an enrichment, it actually makes comedy more human and thus funnier.”
With the second season of Taboo, Belgian viewers continued to get to know a new and unfamiliar Philippe Geubels. He transformed from a mere joker into a serious interviewer. In Taboo, people are trying to laugh with things they should not really be laughing with. A dangerous and sensitive subject that caused little or no commotion despite the expectations. “I think the success of Taboo is due to its human approach. We portray people who belong to a taboo in a beautiful, integer way. We learn to know the people and also get a better idea of what their feelings may be. The jokes I make afterwards are never taken as insults. I think Taboo shows that if it has a humane approach, you can laugh with a lot.”
In recent years, the WOKE movement has caused a stir. It is committed to raising awareness in our society. Sensitive themes such as racism, women’s rights and freedom of expression were addressed en masse. A positive change that advocates a more humane approach. Yet not everyone agrees with this view. Some see it as a limitation of their freedom of expression. Philippe Geubels does not agree with their way of thinking. “I don’t think much about what I can or cannot say. Maybe that is because I was already WOKE. In any case, I never saw it as a stumbling block for my comedy, on the contrary. It provides a more human approach, one that more people can identify with.”
After his first appearance on television in 2009 with the M!LF series, Geubels has become an indispensable presence on the TV-screen. Philippe Geubels and Jan van Looveren presented their programme M!LF. Man Liberation Front searched for the ‘real’ man in a world full of ‘new’ men. Whether he would still make the same programme now, he is not sure. “A number of things that featured in the programme I would not include now. I would leave out the dancers in bikini in the background, but I think most of it is in the spirit of the times.
The sensitivities that WOKE exposes are not a hindrance to Geubels’ jokes. “I think you can touch on almost any subject provided you take a few things into account. In the second season of Taboo, for example, I made a joke about the holocaust, which I would normally never do. I am also not of the opinion that some comedians can permit themselves more than other comedians. A well-established comedian may be able to get away with more than a newcomer but that should not really be the case.”