Scroll to Top


A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Recovery

Mens Health March 2023

View Article

Her Majesty the Queen honoured Keith Palmer, Founder of The Comedy School, with an MBE for services to Entertainment and to Charity in her 2020 Birthday Honours List.

The Comedy School was established by Keith in 1998 to highlight the many uses of comedy, from stimulating personal creativity to encouraging social skills and improving literacy. The only arts organisation of its kind in the UK, it has already made a difference to the lives of so many through its outreach and wellbeing projects

Like so many working in the arts sector, the current pandemic has seen much of our work in schools, prisons and elsewhere put on hold. In order to keep our doors open we need financial assistance to help us through these tough times so that we can resurface even stronger and continue to make a difference with our social initiatives. These include our Wellbeing programme and our knife crime initiative for school children called 'It's No Joke!"

Keith says: "I'm accepting the MBE on behalf of everyone that has been involved with The Comedy School, past and present, which includes the late, great comedian Felix Dexter and original comedy school Director Martin Rawstorne: thank you for your involvement."

Donations can be made via:

Donate with JustGiving.

See what our long-time supporters and Patrons are saying about or work:

Paul Whitehouse

"Paul Whitehouse: "Congratulations Sir Keith Palmer! Oh no wait a minute, not quite... well not yet anyway but it’s only a matter of time. Hats off to Keith Palmer MBE for recognition of the tireless work he and other members of the Comedy School do, particularly with regard to knife crime. Well done Keith."

Andi Osho

"I am beyond thrilled to hear that my dear friend Keith Palmer has been awarded the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. In other words an MBE!! This is for his tireless work in entertainment and charity. I have known Keith since Ice, Ice Baby was number one! And he has always had a love for comedy. He is frankly a naturally funny man. But that coupled with a huge heart has meant Keith has used his knowledge of the craft to help people learn it but also to support those dealing with their mental health. But that’s not all. Keith has created anti-knife crime workshops that have been performed thousands of times in schools around the country. For this and so much more, Keith’s work has been recognised, and it is so, so deserved. He really is an incredible, selfless and dedicated human being. Please check out his charitable organisation of which I’m proud to be a Patron. Under this banner, Keith has been quietly, kindly and brilliantly undertaking his charitable work. You can support the trust by giving a monthly donation. By doing that you will help Keith’s amazing work to continue. Keith, congratulations again. You are an O.L. Original Legend!"

Sean Lock

Sean was Patron and friend to The Comedy School for 7 years up until his untimely death in 2021. "The Comedy School provides education, entertainment and opportunities in communities that are often neglected. Keith Palmer is the Comedy School. Without his drive, passion and charm it would have closed years ago. He’s kept it going against all the odds and is admired by all who work with him"

@comedyschooluk #thecomedyschool #keithpalmer #MBE #mentalhealth #mentalhealthawarenessday #mentalwellbeing #laughteristhebestmedicine #standupcomedy #comedycourses #standup #northlondoncharity #camden #lovelondon #fridayfunny #savethearts #savelivecomedy


Keith Palmer, The Comedy School founder, honoured by The National Lottery

The National Lottery’s ‘Big Surprise’ – which honours the individuals who have made a real difference with the help of National Lottery funding – delivered a heart-warming surprise for Keith Palmer, founder of Camden-based project The Comedy School. The ‘Big Surprise’ is a 90-second weekly slot during the ad break of Saturday night primetime television.

Established by Keith in 1998, The Comedy School raises the profile of the many uses of comedy, from stimulating personal creativity to encouraging social skills and improving literacy. The only arts organisation of its kind in the UK, it has been able to make a difference to the lives of so many through its outreach and anti-knife crime projects.

The Comedy School’s Wellbeing Project, in partnership with SLaM Recovery College, which uses stand-up comedy and improvisation to help support those with mental health difficulties, was awarded £120,000 of National Lottery funding. The project aims to improve people’s mental health and wellbeing by using comedy as an educational and rehabilitative tool

Give with a Giggle

Comedy wellbeing workshop for mental health patients turns cries of despair into laughter

Sunday Mirror article: "The Comedy School is a ground-breaking initiative in Brixton, South London and has been hailed a 'life-saver' by mental health patients"

Men's Health Project


in schools, youth centres, in association with Youth Inclusion Projects, Youth Offending Teams and Safer Schools Teams.


Our Anti-Knife Crime Programme

Here is a BBC Look East report on The Comedy School's Anti-knife Crime presentation to schools - 'It's No Joke'

Funded by