'The Day Shall Come' interview: Marchant Davis and Kayvan Novak on the limits of comedy

Sam Ashurst
Contributor

The Day Shall Come is in cinemas on 11 October, and some of the jokes in Chris Morris’ Four Lions follow-up (as you might expect from a film by the man behind Brasseye) push the limits in terms of what’s acceptable to guffaw at. Woke culture “may be killing comedy”, but it doesn’t seem to be stopping Morris.

Race, terrorism, death, pedophilia… nothing’s off-limits in the British director’s satire about a bunch of freedom fighters who are turned into terrorists by the FBI.

But do the film’s stars think that certain topics should be off the table when it’s time to make people chuckle?

“I think it depends on who’s doing the joking, to be honest,” Kayvan Novak tells Yahoo Movies UK.

“And whether that person sees something that I also feel is potentially funny, and the context in which you’re presenting it to the audience.”

The Day Shall Come (eOne UK)

“It’s not just going ‘You can’t joke about that, you can’t joke about that.’ You can, but you have to exercise skill and intelligence to execute it - and you still might not get people laughing at it. It’s the intention behind it, and I always feel like with Chris [Morris] the intention is good and right and I want to help him achieve his vision. That’s a nice feeling for me.”

Read more: Director Todd Phillips says he made 'Joker' because 'woke culture' killed comedy

“AIDS.” That’s The Day Shall Come’s lead Marchant Davis’ blunt response to the question of off-limit comedy topics.

The Day Shall Come UK poster. (eOne UK)

Does Davis think that comedians have a responsibility in terms of what they put out there, or is satire an important element of culture?

“Comedians have a responsibility to take aim at any and everything, because they’re the one group of people that can. Some, not most people, will listen,” Davis says.

Kayvan Novak also thinks satire is important, even if it is challenging in the modern era.

Chris Morris attends the "The Day Shall Come" Premiere - 2019 SXSW Conference and Festivals at Paramount Theatre. (Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SXSW)

“Satire is so fast-moving now it seems. The lines are getting blurred in terms of what’s a comedy character and what’s a real character. Do I need to take the p**s out of this person, or are they taking the p**s out of themselves. We’re in a political golden-age of ‘what the f*** is going on?’ or it seems that way.”

Read more: The Day Shall Come trailer: Chris Morris takes on US extremism

“I’m not a satirist,” Novak continues.

“And I guess if I had a nightly chat show I’d almost feel overwhelmed, because every day a new thing’s happening, a new Twitter storm, someone said this, someone feels that, it’s a constant battle. It seems like a big blur to me. It’s like the cartoon, where they’re having a big bust-up and all you can see is a big dust-cloud and some stars. It’s an interesting time.”

The Day Shall Come is in UK cinemas on 11 October. Watch a trailer below.