A Curious Comedic Calamity

March 25, 2010

I have a problem.

Okay, yes, I know that’s very nearly the epitome of understatement, and under less dire circumstances I would smile, but I truly believe that I’ve been beset by something utterly perfidious here–stand-up isn’t making me laugh.

I *love* laughter–people that lack levity both irritate and frighten me. I love the way my cheeks and my sides ache and hours later I start giggling again when the replay goes through my head.

I love the cleverness of comedy; the careful juxtaposition of the mundane and the absurd, presented through a lens of personal experience that’s simultaneously unique and universal.

I love the how a good comedian plays the audience–in the musical sense–controlling rests and beats, tempo, piano and forte. . . they bring you along for an emotional and physical ride.

You get the idea.

Anyway, I’m sitting here watching the Dana Carvey special (something about monkeys?); a couple weeks ago it was the new Sinbad, the other night it was the ten year celebration of Blue Collar. So, these are all acts I generally enjoy, but they’re just not getting to me for some reason. A half-smile here, a crooked grin there, maybe a “heh” of amusement (I think I remember Engvall had an actual ha-ha, but that was the off-cool one, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the thought process stuff.). . .

In violation of all the laws of writing, I don’t have an answer or even an analysis to offer, just the observation and the vague sense of having been robbed.

The end.



  1. Don’t feel bad about not laughing at Squatting Monkeys Tell No Lies. You didn’t laugh because it was not funny, not because something is wrong with you. I only bought that special because it was a double pack that came with Critic’s Choice.
    And the new Sinbad wasn’t that great either. It was nice to see him again, and there were some good bits, but not as good as his old stuff.
    I suggest a finding comedians that don’t try so hard to be funny just because they’ve been comedians forever. Might I suggest Jim Gaffigan “Beyond the Pale”. That man will make you bust a gut just talking about cake. And go old school. Find some stand up from a young Tim Allen for instance. If you don’t like his jokes, you can always laugh at his hair and the audience’s clothing.
    Or maybe this just means it’s time for another Astoria comedy night. I know I could use one.

  2. I liked Beyond the Pale–that was Gaffigan in a blue shirt and sport coat, right? (opens youtube tab to confirm. . . I am a genius!), but Gaffigan’s delivery gets old quickly.
    I’m willing to take advice, of course, but I’m only going to do an Astoria Comedy Night if you promise it’ll be no pressure; last time you guys weren’t happy with me not laughing!

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