Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Nothing is funny anymore

About 2 weeks ago I messaged my friend Afif asking why Jim Gaffigan was funny. I heard some of Jim's comedy special, and honestly I found it to be extremely hacky and unoriginal. Afif wrote me back defending Jim saying he remembers him being hilarious when he went to see him live. I think the problem is over the years as we grow wise beyond our years we realize that most everything has been done before. It is almost depressing, but I can barely ever find anything worth watching. Everything is a giant cliche, and really formulatic. Even the funny movies I have seen recently (I Love You Man for example) was extremely formulatic and cheesy.  

I can turn on my television throw on a sitcom with a laugh track and pretend it is enjoyable, but even the best of them are mediocre at best. It is upsetting to think about, and it seems like it is worse today than ever before. I feel like there used to be more of an edge on television and in movies. Stand ups were more creative and had an edge, and somewhere along the way it was lost. Maybe I am imagining this? I hope for the "good 'ol days", where there were no liberal thought police or network intervention, but maybe it was never like that? Maybe good comedy was always few and far between. 

I think back and I remember loving the "Kinds of Comedy" with Steve Harvey and the gang. Back then I thought that was fresh, original comedy. Now a days I watch Katt Williams and I want to kill myself. It is so clearly not fresh and original, but is it that different from "Kings of Comedy?" Probably not when I think about it. It was just a cliche that I have never heard before, but probably existed many times before that. However, with that said I think creative comedy exists. I think "30 Rock" has never been done before. I think Jim Norton and Louis C.K. are unique creative comics. I think Seth Rogan has done a good job starring in special unique comedies. 

The reason bad comedy exists is because there will always be 18 year old Kenny, young and naive laughing his ass off at some dumb shit. I am not sure what the point of this blog is, I am just venting I guess. I suppose my main point is that it is ok to hold your entertainment to a high standard. There will always be that young dumb version of me who thinks "Friends" was a hilarious sitcom, but hopefully there will always be older Kenny who pays to see high quality shit. LOCKED IN!


Afif said...

I have pondered this a lot b/c it is kinda scary. I dunno if it's that everything has "been done" as much as it is getting older and being exposed to more shit. Like when you are a baby, someone can make a "funny sound" and it will be the funniest thing you have ever heard in your entire life. Then at like age 8 if you look up "fuck" or "vagina" in the dictionary and it is actually there, that is hilarious. I remember when I was like 15-18 things like AIDS/rape/dead baby/"offensive" jokes were hilarious to me but that got played out too.

A joke is not as funny the second time you hear it. Kinda scares me cause I wonder what will happen when I am like 40. How much funniness is there to go around?

I do think certain types of humor are timeless though. Like things that are just "witty" will always be funny b/c you can appreciate the quickness/wit of the joke. Satire/mocking people/things you hate will also probably never stop being funny. Surreal/absurd humor will also prob never stop being funny to me b/c it is unlimited. Actually I dunno maybe not. Cause sometimes I will see people doing youtube videos and being so "wacky/random/out there" and it just makes me mad.

Not sure about this. I hope I can still find things funny when I am "mad old" :(

Ryan said...

I think there comes a time where certain things become unfunny is just because certain things become stale, like you can laugh so many times at the same joke told in 5 different ways.

But I agree with Afif in the sense that there will always be something that's funny - like look at SNL regardless of whether it's a great season or not - there will be a handfull of things that will be funny to me, you, someone's dad, someone's grandma, etc.

On the youtube thing, there's always gonna be a bunch of people who think they are being funny, when they aren't - it's just now that the internet has given everyone a platform where as like 5years ago, only a select few could do stuff like that through stand up, sketch, improv, or whatever.

Anyways, there are funny things out there, I will try to keep up with them and show you them so you don't become a mean and bitter old man with no sense of humor like Kevin's dad, Steve who I assume was mean and bitter b/c of the Son of Sam case and left his children because he couldn't appreciate his twin boys senses of humor.

Amber said...

Wasn't it you who was jizzing all over the last two new Apatow Factory productions? Actually, I don't think it was you. In any case...

I don't think anything in the world is laugh out loud funny to me anymore. I don't think Flight of the Conchords is funny, per se, it is just more entertaining than watching my dog sleeping for example, you know? Some things suck less than others. I suppose if I enjoyed doing actual things I wouldn't be watching the entertainment industries feeble attempts to rescue me from boredom.

theomegachrist said...

I think the key is wit as Afif said, and finding a "fresh angle" on topics. Every good comedian has their own flare or whatever. I don't think it is me really. Things are funny, I think it is a lot of things.

I really think that we live in a culture where you'll either be censored by politics, or it won't be lucrative to actually be funny.

I always bring up, "How I Met Your Mother" to Ryan because to me that is the worst kind of comedy. It is almost funny in a way that you know the writers are funny, but like it is more lucartive to almost be funny and throw a laugh track behind it because you are writing safe jokes for everyone.

Most people are not funny and easily amused so I think it is more lucrative to not be that funny. If you write jokes people don't get it and your show gets canceled.

Afif said...

Stella got canceled because "nobody" watched/liked it while Mind of Mencia and The Blue Collar Comedy Hour or w/e were popular and picked up for multiple seasons at around the same time on the same channel.

Christine said...

It's the same thing with chick flicks, dramas, etc. Good movies are few and far between, because like with comedians, it's all been done already. I promise you, funny is still out there somewhere... it's just a matter of finding the "fresh angle".