I was watching Stand Up on Nitwit Flex the other day. I have seen 4 comedians. The 1st one told long stories, one of which involved him performing at a prison, and another about his relationship with his wife. It was amusing but not funny. The funny one was the black guy who said he was taking notes for future material, and would whip out a notebook sized piece of paper when they laughed big or when they didn’t. He had some great Carlinesque and some Richard Pryor moments where he just made observations on life. His language was foul. The remaining 2 comedians were talking about bodily functions the whole time. That might be funny to 5th graders or high school sophomores, but none of the material these 4 were using corresponded to the laughter they were getting. In fact, it didn’t seem to me that the audience reaction was in line with the stimulus. It’s like when you tell a joke that is not funny and the crowd goes crazy–like the venue sprays silly gas on them before you get on stage.
Are they laughing because they feel intellectually inadequate in that they don’t understand the humor and don’t want the people around them to know they didn’t get it? Are they laughing to prove to themselves and the people around them that they are worldly wise and sophisticated enough to get the f@rt jokes? Are they laughing because they’re embarrassed by the material? (I had a kid that would smile when he was embarrassed.) Do they have plants in the audience? I would be a Robin Williams in that venue! I would have people rolling in the aisles under those circumstances.
I could talk about weight lifting at the gym after a yogurt breakfast. “Now for squats…I hope I don’t f@rt!” *acts out lifting and f@rting. Crowd goes wild.* I could do potty training grand children. “Welcome to Trouserless Tuesday! Drop your pants, and if you need to pee…go to the bathroom or clean it up yourself.” *crowd is in tears.* I could tell a story about hiking the trail after burritos for lunch. 1/2 way around the lake, I REALLY have to go, and there’s no toilet paper in the out house. It’s too late. People across the lake can hear the expulsion and look up to see where the jet is. The methane released peels all the paint off the interior. Other hikers walking by pass out. I use the toilet paper roll to scrape off as much as I can, and have to walk funny for another mile and 1/2 to get back to my car…where I am recoiling at the idea of sitting down and driving home. *crowd is rolling on the floor and some are having accidents themselves.* But I don’t think that material is funny.
What I think is funny are those little blue pill advertisements. How can it be considered erotic for 2 old people to be in separate bathtubs, outside, holding hands and looking at the sunset? 1st of all, it’s 2 older people. 2nd, why 2 tubs? (Wouldn’t a nice big Jacuzzi be more erotic?) 3rd, is the water heated or does it get colder? (I’d think that cold water might be a detriment to later performance…) 4th, in order to get started, one or both have to get out of the tubs. So if they’ve been sitting in cooling water, staring out at the sunset for any length of time, they’ll be pruny, and goose-bumpy, and, well, shriveled. I would think that my first reaction to such a scene would be laughter (and shivering).
My audience is different though. They’re not the millenials and new parents and those of mid-life crises. They’re the grandparents, the mean old nasty ladies with the canes, the old guys with the Bermuda shorts and Hawaiian shirts and silly hats that constantly yell, “Git off my lawn ya little buggers!!!” They’re the ones with life experience. They’re the ones that read bill boards and laugh at the implications. (Picture of Lincoln–failed, failed, failed, failed, President–Persistence! And we’re thinking failed, failed, failed, failed, shot.) Or look at those inspirational bill boards put up by the churches. Think how much easier it would have been if there had been bill boards in Moses’ day. “Yo! MOSES! The sign said next exit!” Could have cut some of the traveling time. Or post one up with Jesus’ picture on it saying, “THIS IS THE GUY!~God” Would have saved a lot of people from 2nd thoughts. I always get confused about the connection of nearly naked ladies and cars. Which are they selling?
I think that the lengths some of these people go to have the perfect ANYTHING are ludicrous! The more moving parts, the less likely things are to be perfect. So if you’re spending $30k on a wedding dress, and the perfect destination wedding, with the perfect band or dj, and the perfect vows, and the pre-nuptial agreements, and the right people at your wedding (the ones that have enough money to GET to the destination) it will be a perfect occasion. It’s just ONE DAY in your married life and the next 12 years you will be arguing about money because you’ll still be paying for it. It is the same with the perfect birth for your baby. I confess I heard this last discussion on the radio. It was HILARIOUS what women do. “Oh, no we’ll be having a completely natural childbirth in the completely natural childbirth facility with 15 people on hand to do the child’s first spinal adjustment as he’s born, the string quartet playing Mozart, the midwife, husband, obstetrician and 3 nurses on hand, the priest, the gospel choir and the most sanitary of rooms. Whatever is best for the baby.” Oh, really? Well, we’ll be having a completely natural childbirth on the beach in the ocean. The salt water keeps the child floating on the sea and completely relaxed. Whatever is best for the baby.” Oh yeah? I was part of the Lamaze group when that went through. That was rather enjoyable. Now that isn’t enough. Speaking with the nurses and staff, I discovered that 80% of the Lamaze patients were screaming for drugs before they got through the 1st couple of hours of labor. It seems to me that everything in life needs to be a production put on by the most prestigious directors in which we (the untrained!) play the leading roles. Does that make any sense to anyone? It cracks me up!
Strangely enough, not many of the things I find funny ever end up on the “Stand-Up” stage. You know that a regular target for archery is the big circle with little circles inside? If Donald Trump was a target, he’d be just a big red circle. So no, he’s not on my list of funny things…too easy. Bodily functions have ceased being funny since gradually, in my advanced age, I am losing control of all of them. Complaining about aging is off the table because the youngsters don’t think it’s funny or they don’t get it, and the “more mature” members of the audience often have funnier stories about the same subjects. That leaves me with observational humor. Carlin was the master of that as was Robin Williams.
What do I observe? 9 times out of 10, the guys from CSI (and Miami CSI and NY CSI) don’t apparently work for any of the other police on TV. There is a reason for this! When the investigations are run by CSI, they have the LAB GEEKS GO INTO THE FIELD WITH THE FIELD AGENTS AND THEY TAKE THE LEAD IN THE ARRESTS! So if you want credit for a collar, you don’t let the CSI people anywhere near your crime scene. They will steal it from you!
I also notice that if you put a mask on a famous person, they become unrecognizable. I can see how that would work with Dare Devil, Spider Man and the Flash, but the Green Arrow? Supergirl? Superman? Com’on! Facial recognition would nail them the 1st time they showed up in a news story!
I also notice that Gibbs never gets called on a harassment charge for his head slaps.
Unfortunately, another noticeable thing is that during sweeps week, everyone goes into the bedroom. I don’t want to KNOW what they’re doing on their own time in the privacy of their own homes. These are mythical creatures, these TV personalities. They NEVER go to the bathroom. The women are never experiencing PMS. All the guys are experts at the salmon ladder, and none of them has hair on their chest. Even Hercules (Kevin Sorbo) had hair on his chest. I cannot imagine having to grow chest hair back! What an itchy situation!!!
What is the likelihood that I would get a call from “Stand up” to do a session? Somewhere south of .005%. *Sigh*