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I Watched Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette, And It Left Me In Tears

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When you discuss how funny someone is, you discuss their humour, their ability to crack you up. About how relatable their jokes were. Expect none of this when you watch Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette.

Oh she cracks you up all right. But it’s such cutting, powerful humour, it hurts a little even as you laugh. You’re a little apologetic that you’ve been so easy to tickle, to please, till now. Hannah makes you feel a little less evolved. And very self-involved. That you’ve not stepped out of your bubble till now to look, to really look at the world with a critical eye. Beyond the cocoon of your straight, normal life.

In her show that lasts a little over an hour, she has thousands of people sitting and listening with rapt attention. These are people who have paid to watch a stand-up comedian make them laugh. And yet. Yet, when she talks of her abuse, her life and her childhood, there’s pin drop silence. By the end, she’s not even making you laugh. She is venting, ranting and she’s making you uncomfortable. And through all of it, the audience is leaning in and listening. And you, the viewer is drawn in. You want to apologise to Hannah. To tell her, yes, you did get the short end of the stick, and we are sorry. As a people. As a race. As a humanity.

And that’s why Nanette made me cry. Hannah doesn’t just force you to think. It forces you to feel. And feel I did. The tears were coming long after I had logged off.

Let it be the one thing you watch today.

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Mansi Shah is the resident humour writer and random conversation starter. Tends to laugh manically at puns. Deeply enjoys the blunt force of sarcasm. Preys on chauvinists and people with incorrect grammar. Hoards makeup and beauty products. Attacks Nutella with vigour.

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