Past Entertainment Articles.
Article for the week of 2/13/06
Guns In The Face Lose Comedic Appeal
By, Grey Entertainment
Back in the day of black and white, slapstick films were new in the field
of world wide comedy. Laurel and Hardy, Charlie Chaplin, Mussolini before
he entered the restaurant business, failed, entered the professional male
model business, really failed, entered the used soap business and amassed
enough of a fortune to enter politics, each was a comedic genius in his
own right, contributing to the vista that would become cinematic comedy.
The slapstick gag of throwing a pie into someone’s face was born here,
with several acting as mother, father, midwife, anaesthesiologist, guy
with the cigar in the waiting room and the other man who may well be the
real father. With this sort of convoluted family tree it is no wonder
that the pie in the face gag survives to entertain audiences today.
However as with all things comedy needed to evolve above it’s humble origins
as the self destructive bastard of the entertainment industry. In the
fifties the pie was replaced with cake. Though by today’s standards this
hardly seems a change in those conservative times this was a massive departure.
On occasion it was even possible for a man to hit a woman in the face
with a cake and clean it up, a radical departure from accepted social
Progressing on to the sixties and seventies we find a difficult period
of adjustment, though pie and cake remained popular society was changing,
needing something other than simple messy foodstuffs to hit people in
Hemp simply lacked the necessary effect, and many were sad to see so much
of it wasted by being thrown at someone’s face when there were crowds
The eighties saw the gag reborn to its strength, with violence at an all
time acceptable high writers began throwing guns and bullets into people’s
Whether a simple revolver, a magnum or a sawn off shotgun, pieces of metal
hitting unsuspecting people in the face became so popular that it left
the TV screens and became a part of everyday life.
Now, in the Twenty-first Century the old joke is not so entertaining anymore.
One in twelve gun related deaths is because this joke has gone wrong,
and that includes the number of times someone has mistakenly shot someone
they thought was threatening them when really it was a harmless re-enactment
of a Cosby Show scene.
Okay, maybe that wouldn’t have been so harmless.
The point is that fewer people are seeing the funny side of things. Sure,
polls indicate that most people would like to see the joke played on the
likes of Tom Cruise, any couple with a merged name, James Cameron and
half the Olsen Twins (everyone gets confused as to exactly which one,
but all agree that it’s the one that thinks she can tap dance).
Unfortunately after the Candid Camera incident in which nine people were
injured and three died before the gag was dropped for lack of willing
warm bodies it does seem that a gun in the face is worn out.
New things to be thrown in people’s faces are being searched for as we
speak. From face cream to acid, from bricks to high explosives, from cats
to Condoleezza Rice, everything is being used in an attempt to find the
next big funny.