Something funny this way comes. So let’s analyze it to death.
I sometimes wonder why things are funny, and why some things are funny for so long. Why is “Modern Family” so funny that you’re afraid to laugh for fear of missing something funny, and why is that particular kind of fear funny? How did “The Simpsons” stay so funny for so long? Why do some people think Seth McFarlane is funny? I mean, his stuff seems to be funny. But Seth McFarlane himself? As a person? Why did “My Name is Earl” get canceled?
Are groups of writers likely to be funnier than a single writer? It seems logical that, the more people, the more funny. Yet…have you ever been to a party? Is there such a thing as a good party? From where in life springs such unfunny hurtfulness as from a so-called party? Parties should be regulated. Partygoers should be tested and licensed. No one who ever referred to a boob job should be allowed to attend, or who drank an alcoholic beverage through a funnel, or who referred to a person’s height in any mean-spirited way. Mean spirits in general should not be allowed.
Even groups of funny people can produce unfunniness. For example, at some writers meeting, at least one person said “And then let’s have Fonz jump the shark!” And there may have been others in the room who agreed–eagerly or tentatively, doesn’t matter. And then there was the a guy in the corner who said “That’s funnier than a purple fart!” And so it was done. And so it was written. And he could have prevented it all.
Milton Berle was not that funny. There. I said it. He was only funny when he was trying to be serious.
Why is that?
Sid Ceasar was funny even when he was trying to be serious. Which he almost never was.
But…these guys are dead now. As for Robin Williams, who sprang into mind and also was not funny, I guess it’s too soon. Someday, he may seem funny. Right now, energetic is the best I can do.
One thing not funny is someone writing about funny and not funny. As I used to remind my ex-mother-in-law regularly, not everything should be funny. She used to say things like, “I saw that movie and hated it. It wasn’t funny.” No shit. It wasn’t supposed to be funny. It was film. It was magic. It was “Schindler’s List,” for crying out loud. Go watch the Stooges.
And Woody Allen isn’t funny either. He’s a genius, but he’s not funny. He was funny as a standup comic 800 years ago. But maybe he doesn’t intend to be funny any more, which is his right. He’s succeeding.
And so this post on funniness has gone on too long, should never have been written, and was done by just one person. Like the Kennedy assassination. Eveyone thought I was a nice guy. Remember that.
Posted on September 3, 2014, in Art, Cultural observations, Journalism, Opinion, Pop culture, Psychology, Writing and tagged humor, milton berle, robin williams, sid caesar, writing. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.