We have just had an event in which Grayson Perry talked to Mary Beard (or was it vice versa?) about her latest book, based on her Sather lectures, on Laughter in Ancient Rome. What struck me most forcibly is what a difficult subject it is to talk about academically, whether in the present or in ancient Rome. If treated analytically, then there is a risk of it seeming humourless, but if discussed with levity, then it doesn’t succeed in being a proper academic study. They brilliantly circumvented this problem with a mixture of good humour, anecdote, information, and jokes from the ancient world.