Filed Under Stand-Up Comedy
Way behind in the TiVo viewing. Not only have I watched just one of the eps of Last Comic Standing, I have 43 episodes of Comedy Central Presents on my addictive little box. Again, 43. Good thing I like comedy, huh?
Anyway, seems like we’ll have ten finalists. Don’t know who they are, but I had some thoughts on why Dat Phan won, even in the face of guys like Dave Mordal, Rich Vos and Ralphie May. Thoughts that might help out the “angry/edgy” comics who get through the casting directors. (Judges? Please.)
This is enirely a “theory”, since honestly, I hate reality shows and didn’t put up with watching much of the last one. So, take the following with a whole beach.
When you go to the circus, you see clowns. And there’s always one clown, the victim clown, who’s the innocent clown… who gets picked on by all the other clowns. And though, really, those other clowns are the funny ones, that victim clown is the star of the show… because he’s got the audience’s sympathy. Just like Curly of the Three Stooges. Curly’s not the funny one. Moe is. Curly is the one who gets hit the most and the audience loves him for it. Dat Phan is a victim clown.
So if you get in the mansion, let the other comics hate you. They’re doing YOU a favor. You won’t be funny, but you’ll win.
Filed Under Humor
Channel 7 may NOT be on your side? The special report… here on Channel 7!
You’ve seen their ads on television.
(A quick clip of an attractive but not beautiful woman in a business suit. She radiates sincerity as she states, “It’s about the stories. That effect us all. That effect you.” A logo and legend appear on screen: “7 on your side.”)
The ads for Channel 7 promise a lot – to bring you the news in a way that makes sense, along with traffic, weather and sports. And all of these services are promised to be only performed with the best interests of the viewer in mind. That viewer being you.
And in the course of a 22-minute broadcast, Channel 7 seems to satisfy many of these claims, giving accurate if somewhat cursory looks at the day’s events along with a semi-reliable weather forecast and a presentation of the statistics for the local teams and their games. But it is in the other eight minutes of the broadcast where things take a different turn… a turn to greedy self-interest.
These eight minutes are sold – that’s right, sold – to local and national businesses who wish to reach an audience – a trusting audience that believes that 7 is on their side. These businesses which to take advantage of this trust by persuading them to buy a good or service that they don’t need. Lulled into a false sense of security by 7’s slogan, the viewers have no choice but to trust these “commercials.”
And there are several of these commercials within these eight minutes, some of them only 30 seconds long. That means nearly sixteen unnecessary goods or services could be foisted off on unsuspecting Channel 7 News viewers. Sixteen attempts that may cost you and your family money. And how much does Channel 7 gets for selling time – your time? Several thousands of dollars for each segment.
When we confronted Channel 7 News Director Charles Brendon about the existence of these commercials, he refused to speak on camera. However he did make vague threats about how these commercials pay “our salaries” and that if we didn’t like it we could “quit.”
Though we didn’t find anything out from Mr. Brendon, a quick scan of his office did reveal that 7 was far from its viewer sides in other ways. You see, the number of viewer a newscast can attract helps create the rates Channel 7 can charge for its commercial. The more viewers, the more money. To ensure that ratings stay high, Mr. Brendon actively develops Special Reports - like this one - designed to create fear and concern in viewers rather than help them in their daily lives.
Come back tomorrow, when we’ll continue our five-part investigation. Right now, we’re going to explore “Video Games: Are They Prejudiced to Aliens?” But first, some messages from our sponsors.
Filed Under Sitcom
Got comments coming on Last Comic Standing, but waiting for the Comedy Central re-airing of the second episode because my TiVo only caught the first half due to somebody’s funeral coverage. Ack, the nerve.
Very impressed by Reno 911! second season opener (though I felt the “It was all a dream” resolution to the cliffhanger was rather done and weak). The great thing about Reno 911! is the unlike traditional sitcoms, if a character says something mean or rude to another character, you actually feel some sense of pain. One of the reasons traditional sitcoms have been failing is that too often a character will call another some network-safe version of “fuckface” and the victim will respond in kind.
Reality TV has shown us one thing: people carry grudges. If someone calls someone else “fuckface”, they don’t forget it. The characters on Reno 911! feel each others slights without it become cloying or unfunny. Amazing stuff. The comedy has consequence.
The #1 tenet of comedy: If you’re not pissing someone off, you’re not doing your job.
Corollary: Try to aim for Republicans… they’re pretty easy targets.
Apparently Comedy Central’s upcoming show faux debate show “Crossballs” is the latest example of Viacom’s left wing bias (other shows include apparently “The Daily Show”, which did a recent piece making fun of Kerry VP candidates and regularly features Jon Stewart being deferential to guests from conservative groups and causes.) The fantastic thing about this editorial/call for arms is that it proves exactly why conservative are great targets. She’s complaining about a show that hasn’t even aired yet. Insanity!
The best 20 pages I ever read on comedy were in a psychology book co-authored by John Cleese. In it, he describes how “inflexible behavior” is inevitably funny. Conservative commentators, almost by definition (even with a modifier like “compassionate”), are inflexible. You’re gonna be a target when you take a stand on something and not give any ground. If conservatives would be better sports about a culture that takes satirical jabs at them, the jabs would happen less. But that would be flexible behavior… not gonna happen.
Heartening News Apparently, the very late-airing season finale for Arrested Development did well in that 18-34 year old potential-soap-buying audience. Love the audacity of the Sorpranos, but to me the surprise of the night was how much Arrested’s first season tied up with the “light treason” of building tract housing in Iraq. God bless the spot after Simpsons.
Filed Under Administrative
I suppose I should just jump right in. But I have too much Charles Foster Kane in me to not start up with some variation of a Declaration of Principles. But I draw the line at making the final entry in this blog, “Rosebud.”
This is about comedy. I’ll aggregate any of the comedy news and give some commentary, along with news/reviews on funny ha-ha movies, TV shows, CDs, DVDs, books, mags and video games (I consider Grand Theft Auto to be a work of satire… a very good work of satire). I’ll cover some comedy history - like the long lost zine Army Man created by George Meyer during the writer’s strike—kinda like my favorite column on comic books (see I’m not just a comedy nerd. I’m a regular nerd too.) Every Friday I hope to throw up a little humor piece of my own for your amusement and to provide fodder for people who think I have no idea what I’m talking about. All this kids and much, much more. Or less. I haven’t decided yet.
A little note on the quote from the initial entry… I originally though Mark Twain said it. See the benefits of a good Google search. I picked it to acknowledge to you, gentle reader (or more likely - abusive skimmer), that I understand that looking too closely at comedy, like an eclipse, can burn out your retinas. So I’ll try to not be pedantic when talking about humor, but if not, I’ll be humorously pedantic (but not in a Ben Stein way).