STEPHEN K Amos is trying through his comedy to create a ‘jelly baby society’.

Think about it this way, when you open up a packet of jelly babies there is an array of colours: Brilliant (red - strawberry), Bubbles (yellow - lemon), Baby Bonny (pink - raspberry), Boofuls (green - lime), Bigheart (purple - blackcurrant) and Bumper (orange).

There is not one colour of jelly baby but a mixture.

You buy a packet and you get you all the colours of the rainbow.

This is the type of society which the comedian would like to see, one which has a cross section of people (all colours and creeds) in it and they laugh together and not at each other.

Stephen recently did a joke at the 2016 Melbourne Comedy Festival where he bought a bag of jelly babies but they were only in one colour - black.

They were called Chicos and had a black child on the cover wearing what Stephen said was ‘dungarees circa 1920s’.

He told me after his visit the jelly babies were rebranded and he hoped it was down to his joke.

This is his litmus test, his aim with all the shows he performs, is to make them laugh and then the audience goes away thinking about the topics he has raised that evening.

But becoming a comedian was not exactly top of his list as a young black person growing up in Britain in the 1970s.

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He explained the type of issues he had to face and still faces being black in Britain.

He said there is still people questioning him where he was born, his religion, his race and the colour of his skin as well as his sexuality.

Stephen said: “We (human race) do not learn the lessons of the past and history seems at times to be repeating itself.

“We have a President, Donald Trump, who is president of the free world and who make inflammatory remarks which make no sense to me.

“Looking at his face he shows no remorse, no apology. It is just WOW if you get to that level of power you can do anything.”

Becoming a comedy was not even on Stephen’s radar when he was a young men.

He saw no reason to do comedy as it seemed at that time to have little in common with him rather leaving him with no connection to it or what he saw on television in the 1970s.

Explaining this he said: “I had no desire to do stand up as young kid.

“The comedy which was on the television had no connection with me and it did not make me laugh.

“The comedians were not talking to me they were talking about women, race or gays.

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“I went off to study law and then I went to America.

“It was while there, and I was out with a friend when she told me I was funny and I should be a comedian.

“I did not want to put myself in a situation (as a stand up comedian) where I would be ridiculed for being the token black while having a dialogue with people in a room.”

The issue of race is something which Stephen has had to face all his life and even now he still gets abuse on social media, Facebook or even face to face with people saying racist remarks to him.

He said if he told people what had been said to him they would never believe him, but he has the courage to take what has been said to him and repeat it on stage in part of his act.

This courage would have come from watching his comedian hero Richard Pryor.

Stephen said: “Honestly before I saw Richard Pryor I had no idea you could go on stage and talk about yourself and get laughs.

“I thought comedy was traditional jokes which was removed and somewhere else.

“But he was saying things about himself.

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“It was incredible how he was saying things from his life which has so much consequence “What being a comic has taught me is comedy is full of small stories and experiences.

“I has taught me every single person on the planet has a story to tell.

“And it was all done with a degree of passion and humanity which made what he was saying to be real.

“It has also allowed me to travel the world and go to different place and meet different kinds of people of different cultures and ages.

“It has allowed me to see their customs and understand their points of view.”

One of the things Stephen said he would like to do was to go to America and visit the states of Alabama, South Carolina and Mississippi, to see what it would be like for a black man from the UK to visit these three states in the 21st century.

These states were where the Civil Rights Movement was born and all three states did not allow integration in schools for a number of years even though, on May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court declared segregated schools were unconstitutional.

It was by becoming a comedian which gave him a lot of confidence and he now has a level of respect in his profession and in the community.

Explaining what comedy has give him he said: “I have learnt to stand up for myself, how to express myself without it turning into a volatile argument and opened up a dialogue without it turning into name calling.

“What comedy has given me is an absolute freedom to say what I want while doing a live show.

“I am my own sensor, no one tells me what to do and if there is someone in the audience who says something then I can ask them to leave.

“For me it the job of a comedian you should be able to see yourself as an outsider.

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“You need to tell them something funny which they can laugh about but when they leave it needs to be something they can think about.

“You need to offer people something different than any other comic.

“You need to think outside the box.

“The only time we will see change is when people in power come from all different sector of society.”

This thinking about things happens when Stephen tells his joke involving a painting of a golliwog.

The way he tells it, the way the punchline hits you and the context of the joke make you think long after the laughter has fallen silent.

Stephen’s new show will be at The Brewhouse Theatre in Taunton on December 1 and is called Bread and Circuses.

The blurb for the one man stand up comedy show asks you to: “Leave your problems behind for the evening in the company of the ‘effusively charming’ Amos and who knows?

“Maybe the world will seem just a little bit brighter.

“After all, when Ancient Rome needed to distract itself from politics, a few solutions were suggested, but none hit the spot quite like the simple idea of giving the people cheap food and plentiful entertainment – ‘panem et circenses’ or ‘bread and circuses’.

“Our circuses might no longer involve gladiator fights to the death, but the same principle applies.

“Modern politics is a confusing mess, so no one can blame you for giving it a miss in favour of a night of laughs.”

Tickets for the show in Taunton next month cost £18.50.

These can be bought by either going online at or by calling the box office on 01823 283244.

For those of you aiming to go to or are thinking about attending the show at the Brewhouse Theatre, this is what Stephen’s said you should expect on December 1.

Speaking to readers of the Guide he said: “This will be a case of having a laugh.

“Have a laugh with a cross section of people in society.

“Not laughing at them but with them.

“I am not preachy at the show and have a lot of stuff which is funny and they will have a good night.”