Declaring comedy to be dead is not exactly for me to say. However, what I can declare is that establishment comedy (ie Hollywood blockbusters and Late Night programming has been dead for years).
Every now and then an SNL skit will crawl its way onto my news feed. Every now and then I risk wasting my time by seeing what the current cast is up to and every time I find myself questioning what I just watched and what went so horribly wrong. The skits that are passed around usually come packaged with a “Spot on” or “Omg yessss“. As we know the true sign of a knee-slapper can be summed up by declaratives akin to “this is a reference that I know and THAT is what makes it funny because it is true”.
To lend an olive branch – there is plenty of “funny” still going on in places like Youtube (for now) and in underground comedy circuits. A lot of the folks that would have you falling off your chair are banned from the internet (but we aren’t allowed to admit that). However, I believe the Late Night and Hollywood dry spell we seem to be living through is in direct correlation to the amount of EASY and GENUINELY funny opportunities and observations that are passed up in the name of not offending the “wrong” people. (HINT HINT: It’s political. HINT HINT: It’s democrats).
Laughter, it seems, is now passť and gauche. How else would you still keep your zombie audience feeling good about themselves and continue to grind out hot garbage. This and using the show to promote the latest “celebrity” who danced the right dance have robbed the audiences of the kind of unbridled laughter that “The Californians” or Norm Macdonald’s irreverence brought.
A self-satisfied “Yesss” or “So true” has replaced the belly laugh and the kind of squirm-in-your-chair experience of an uncomfortable truth being said in just the right way and at just the right moment.
So if you wish to partake in this whacky phenomena we are living through follow these steps…
- Get a glass of red wine
- Declare things as funny and/or spot-on on social media. Do this between sips and texting your biffys, because let’s face it – no one watching Late Night comedy is giving it their full attention.