Listen: Josie Steele chats to Laura Bennett
One of the best ways to get through tough times is to find a reason to laugh.
Be it at the expense of your housemate who just stubbed their toe, or the comedian on TV who made you spit out your tea, a laugh can do us a world of good.
Comedian and producer of Have You Been Paying Attention, Josie Steele has made it her mission to get people laughing through the COVID pandemic, with her new podcast, I Just Called to Tell You a Joke.
Speaking with Hope 103.2 Josie said, “In the early days of the pandemic a couple of friends gave me a call [to see how I was], and it was just so nice to talk to someone when we all felt really isolated at the beginning.
“I had this idea to try and call someone everyday and just make them cheerful for a bit… it’s a tiny conversation where the only point is to make someone laugh – or groan, because the jokes are so bad.”
Breaking Down the “Text Don’t Phone” Barrier
In each 90-second (or so) episode, Josie calls “someone she loves”, and we get a tiny taste of their world – and sense of humour. It’s not only a moment to laugh, but also a snapshot of the lives people are still living during the pandemic, and funnily enough – how they handle having it interrupted by Someone. On. The. Phone. Spooky.
“As millennials, phone calls are terrifying,” Josie smiles, “ but I’ve always loved phone calls as opposed to sending 18 text messages… so I’m kind of hoping this loosens everybody up to be happy to chat on the phone again; It’s such a nice way to stay in touch and it’s so much more personal.”
Josie says the podcast has also been her way of getting through the challenges posed by COVID-19, and keeps her mental health in check.
“I think it’s been what’s genuinely got me through [the pandemic] with any semblance of good humour. It’s so nice to have an opportunity to talk to someone and just be cheerful once a day; I’m not calling to ask, ‘have you heard the news?’ or ‘how are you feeling?’ I’m just calling to tell you something that might be funny – and might not be, and just to check in on you.”
Listen to I Just Called to Tell You a Joke now.