The common feature of the situations analysed here has been that all are directly dialogic: the way in which participants move in and out of utterance is predicated essentially upon the fact that in dialogue any participant can be both listener and speaker. In formal comic performances of any kind this is not so. Of course, communication is essentially dialogue, in the sense that virtually all discursive acts are aimed at someone (even a prayer!), but the nature of the dialogue is different when the participants are unable to swap roles at will. The act of reading a novel, going to the theatre or watching TV or a movie does not allow this exchange, and mass communication is usually distinguished from other forms of communication on these grounds: here asymmetry of access to the means of communication distinguishes audience from performer. Thus when comic narrative is formalised as a performance it is subject to different rules to those that regulate humour in everyday dialogue. Indeed, we have already seen one fundamental difference: in comic performance, the institutional fact of performance is a permanent cue to humour.