Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Rant #862: Comedy Is Not Pretty
I am sure you have heard by now about the two Australian shock DJs who made a prank call to the hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge was staying due to a bout of extreme morning sickness.
They impersonated the royal family, got through to the nurse, and asked when visiting hours were.
This was broadcast countrywide in Australia, and was thought to be so funny.
Well, the nurse didn't think so.
She allegedly killed herself from shame.
Of course, now the shock jocks, faced with losing their show, losing their jobs, losing their broadcast licenses, and being the world's biggest villains, are very apologetic for what they've done.
They cried and tearfully apologized to the family of the nurse for their misdeed.
They seemed to be dumbstruck themselves. The male DJ was dressed with collar open, looking like he was ready to take in a ballgame, while the woman--who normally wears low cut tops to show off her curvy figure (why do this on radio when you can't see anything?)--was dressed in very conservative black, with no cleavage to be seen.
Well, what does this all mean?
Comedy to me is pratfalls, funny jokes, the proverbial guy slipping on the banana.
Comedy to me is Abbott and Costello, the Three Stooges, Laurel and Hardy, Jerry Lewis, "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World," "Leave It To Beaver," "The Andy Griffith Show," "Sanford and Son," Robert Klein, Andy Kauffman ...
Suffice it to say, it is not today's comedy.
Those comedians and comedies never made fun of others at their expense. Some of them were full of slapstick and wordplay, others derived comedy from the characters' personalities.
And the comedy never made fun of others in an evil way.
Today, comedy is comprised of just a few things.
First, you can't get past the vulgarity today. Lenny Bruce is turning in his grave at what he brought to the masses, because he used vulgarity as wordplay against our human foibles.
Today's comics use these words as commonplace as using the words "the," "of," and "a."
Then there's the sexual stuff.
You can say just about anything today. It doesn't matter.
Heck, Adam Sandler's last movie was about a kid in school who was raped by his teacher, fathers a child, and then has to care for the child later on when the kid becomes an adult.
Ha ha, the clown said.
Third, and this ties into the shock jocks' current problems, is that comedy today makes fun of people. The people have no comeback at all, no chance to redeem themselves.
Do you think these shock jocks really understand what comedy truly is? Do you think that they understand that when you make fun of someone, the hurt remains?
Look, the nurse who took the call obviously had many other problems, and this incident probably pushed her over the edge. This was an extreme case, and 99.9 percent of us, put in a similar circumstance, would probably pick ourselves up by our bootstraps and move on from it.
But this woman obviously didn't, and took her life. She leaves behind a husband and two kids.
I heard a U.S. shock jock yesterday actually have the nerve to say that the DJs should have received permission from those they pranked before they ran this thing on the air. That's what "we" do here, he stated.
This guy is really ignorant if this is the only thing he found wrong with this incident.
I don't even know where to go with this rant right now.
I think comedy has to change, get itself out of the gutter, and it has to be funny again.
I don't find current comedy funny. I don't laugh at "The Big Bang Theory," because I simply don't find it funny. I don't laugh at Chris Rock, because I don't find him funny.
Look, I am not a prude. I like an off-color joke as much as anyone.
But there is more to comedy than jokes about body parts and people's sexual adventures.
Comedy has to clean up itself, and be funny again. I am sure there are people out there with talent, who can do this without reverting to vulgarity, constant references about sex, and making fun of people.
It's so easy to resort to the lowest common denominator, but to rise above it is difficult.
I am sure there are talented people out there who can do it.
I hope, for the sake of comedy, that somebody stands up and shows everyone what comedy really is all about.
Posted by Larry at 3:06 AM