THIS IS COMEDY
What happened to everyone’s sense of humor? When did we decide as a country that it was best to sit in front of the television with a plate of ‘artisan’ macaroni & cheese and watch light-hearted comedies starring Zippy McFluffnuts?
Maybe I’m overreacting, but it seems to me that we forgot how to make fun of ourselves. We constantly attack comedians when we don’t understand their jokes and then we take them out of context when we try to explain them to other people; causing more misplaced outrage and ultimately the news sites run with the drama in order to get more clicks.
For the large majority of successful comedians, perfecting just one joke can be a very long process. It requires hours of writing, research, open mic nights and constant club work at all hours of the night for very low pay in order to put together a solid hour just so they can be booked for larger gigs and make a living off their craft. For example, Doug Stanhope will go to libraries to do research so when he delivers a bit on-stage, all his information is on point, therefore allowing Stanhope to deliver his lines with piercing accuracy, regardless of how much alcohol he may consume before the show.
Jay Mohr openly admits that some of his best material is inspired by his lovely wife, actress Nikki Cox. Known for his impersonations of Christopher Walken and Harvey Keitel, Jay has reintroduced himself into comedy spotlight and besides a few bumps & bruises, is quickly regaining momentum with his diverse brand ranging from his days on SNL, to his very popular podcast, and his radio show on the Fox Sports channel. In order to receive a warm welcome at venues across the country, he spends a lot of his time churning out new material at the Brea Improv and other local LA nightclubs.
Nick DiPaolo has spent countless hours in small thirty seat rooms tweaking every joke to explicit perfection. His material is galactic in size and will either leave you laughing or bleeding…sometimes both. He’s strong in his opinions and angrily unapologetic in his delivery. DiPaolo, albeit a little modest about his comedic ability, can follow any comedian, close any show and crush any crowd with a single punchline.
Bill Burr doesn’t give a s%#t what anyone thinks and don’t even consider heckling him at a show, for his wrath is famous and can shrink a person to near non-existence. He famously went on a Philadelphia stage in 2006 and verbally shelled a drunk and belligerent crowd after they booed off Robert Kelly and Dom Irrera. Years of practice, hard work and a Boston thick skin has propelled Burr to TV/movie rolls and has cemented his status as one of the most sought after comedic talents in recent years.
In many respects comedians understand the world better than anyone of political or popular significance and much of their comedy translates successfully to various venues all over the world. My issue mostly stems from the fact that people are uneducated about the comedians they go see or listen to, and have become so overly sensitive to what is said onstage, that they take it upon themselves to either heckle the comic or retreat to twitter to express their “outrage” over a joke. The idea of a joke is that somewhere down the line, someone is getting harpooned. So in essence, every joke is offensive and if that’s the case, the golden age of comedy from George Carlin and Bill Hicks to Louis C.K. and Adam Carolla may be on the endangered species list. There are two things we look to after horrific events in our lives, sports and comedy. Comedy allows us to take a hard look at ourselves in a more amusing light and to understand that even the most horrific events in our personal timeline can be lifted to a more humorous climate if approached properly. This is how we move forward in life. This is how we look back and laugh at our mistakes. This…is comedy.