Past Opinion Articles
Article for the week of 4/22/08
Humor by Candle Light
By Ezra Mann
Ah precious comedy, the giver of life to the worldís funny bone. Yet, in the time since cavemen used their brethrenís noggin to create the first knock knock joke we seem to have forgotten what it truly is to be funny.
Perhaps the blame can best be tagged with a lack of understanding by the general population as to what defines comedy. After all, when someone says ďIím not a fan of comedyĒ my immediate reaction is to say, you are such a liar. If one was truly never a fan of humor, then they would not laugh at all and we canít all be Janet Reno.
First of all, let me fish slap some sense into you naygaffers (just look guffaw up in the dictionary) and point out that comedy has never and will never be stuck to one style. Comedy branches out wider than the American waistline into categories like lowbrow and highbrow and into sub categories such as satire, parody, slapstick and Woody Allen (Ok, the debate is still out on that one).
Lowbrow is the nitty gritty gives everything else in comedy a bad name, but is still a useful basis for stepping up. Highbrow is witty and thoughtful with well thought out punch lines and may be as dry as a West Texas dust storm. Slapstick is falling over yourself with glee, parody is made fun of and satire is a dark yet sometimes meaningful social commentary.
Furthermore, if I am going to be a fricking dictionary I might as well blurt out a few examples to help things further along. With highbrow comedy Religious John asks Atheist Kate out for a cup of coffee at the local praise-be-all Joe shop down town and in their heads the both think something is amiss, but keep negative thoughts to their heads while smiling just the same.
Lowbrow would be if John had a bit of gas and ripped one while not-so-cleverly covering it up with a rendition of Oh Danny Boy when he figures out he canít stop. Slapstick would be slipping on a banana peel left by the previous customer while parody would be if he were dressed like a nazi soldier after blaming the fart on the Jewish population. Satire would be Kate turning out to be the daughter of a rabbi who figures out ways of getting revenge while reading a biography on Joseph Stalin.
Finally, to break it all down for the masses, pure comedy is the art of observation. You cannot really laugh if there is not a subject to laugh about.
Also, if you want to respect comedy, anything needs to be up for the giggle grabs even if you donít like it as much as anyone else. Thatís what real comedy is about and if enough people can realize that then maybe we might one day see a comedy category in events like the Oscars. Why the hell not, if a documentary and a cartoon have the honor then humor should be not out of recognition.
Back on track, this is further proof that a person cannot truly be anti comedy. You may not enjoy a kick in the family jewels, but if you smile for any other reason than just being happy, you like some kind of comedy.
So if you gotta be negative, be selectively negative and point out the type of comedy you donít like because we might as well have something more constructive to talk about. For if we were truly all unfunny fans weíd have to be inebriated 24/7 and Iím not giving any more money that I already do to the local liquor stores. And to think I came up with this idea during a power outage, bring back the Stone Age!
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