On Thursday the 30th of January, the Union’s normally serious proceedings took a back seat to the Oxford RAG Comedy Debate, contesting the motion that “This House believes nothing worth knowing can Be Taught”.
This was a true battle of comedic wit, with the Cambridge Footlights pitching up in proposition against the Oxford Revue home team providing the opposition. Shortly before the debate began there was an emergency motion entitled, “This House Would Rather Give than Receive”. This led to various individuals testing just how many innuendos they could use in a brief speech.
The Cambridge Footlights then took to the floor, with their opening speaker making a valiant attempt to encourage audience participation. After several failed efforts to get those assembled to ask “Is there nothing worth knowing that can be taught?” with exactly the right intonation, he moved on to an enjoyable but rather confusing vignette about his alcoholic uncle.
Following continued battles of wit between the Oxbridge comedy giants, there was then break in the debate as some of Oxford’s up and coming stand-up comedians took the floor. Anna Dominey, in one of the most selfless contributions to women’s health ever seen, lobbed a handful of tampons into the audience as part of the act. Alex Farrow also did his part for the feminist cause by playing a hugely informative game entitled “Robin Thicke or Rapist”.
After this we came to the closing speeches. The last speaker for the Footlights pointed out that, if nothing worth knowing can be taught, that means that one would have come to the debate already knowing their opinions in advance, making one a “bad person”. The final speech was unexpectedly interrupted by a series of improvised comedy games by the Oxford Imps, and then a closing set by Oxford’s own Out of the Blue. All-female a capella group “In The Pink” also performed on the evening. In the end, the Oxford Revue claimed victory in the debate, with a 2-1 victory margin against the Footlights. However, the real winner was Oxford RAG. The debate raised £300, more than any debate has earned over the past years.