Not So Funny Now?
Is comedy dead? This is the thought that came to me while I sat and watched the latest Tyler Perry movie with my brother and his latest girlfriend. Truth is I was not really watching this almost grotesque excuse for comedy. To me this is what happens when a one hit wonder runs out of ideas and then starts to work of pretty bad racial stereotypes. The fact is, people’s taste in comedy is dead.
As I had to sit through this trash (I didn’t really have a choice, because on the other couch sat my brother’s girlfriend and him. He is nicknamed Lou Ferrigno for a reason, plus it was their choice to choose movies this time around) I was being transported back to the days when I actually found Martin Lawrence’s Big Momma’s House funny, and I had a thought. To be honest there is only one real way to express this thought is. “What the Fuck is happening to black comedians!”
Now hold on to your ropes and race cards here. I’m not saying that black comedians aren’t funny; fact is it is rare to find a comedian that is actually truly funny. I’m just pointing out black comedians because the truth is that two greatest comedians in history of comedy scratch that, in the history of mankind! Were black men. If any of you reading this say Tyler Perry or Will Smith, you deserve to be slapped with a salami sausage. The two greatest men of comedy were Richard Pryor and Bernie Mac.
Fact is without Richard Pryor, there would be no Chris Rock or Kat Williams or Monique for that matter. Without Pryor the whole comedy style of swearing till some prude in the crowd pukes on his date would not exist. Pryor didn’t target just one specific topic; truth is no one was safe. He picked on white people, black people, junkies, government, the economy the world, and anything within earth’s radius. Pryor set the trail for all, I mean all, modern day comedians(you see why I’m pointing this out) to get up on stage and try make someone laugh for a buck or for the right reasons. He was honest and that what had set him apart from his peers then and what sets him apart now from this current generation.
Bernie Mac on the other hand was one of the many comediennes that followed Pryor, being vulgar and being honest. Unlike most of his peers(The Original Kings of Comedy), and this was no group of slouches, Mac was just genuinely funny. I do not know person I have played a Bernie Mac stand-up set who has not sat and laughed or even cried. Bernie Mac made everyone laugh. Black, White, Indian, Coloured, old, young, poor, rich. It didn’t matter who or what you are! People found this man to be genuinely funny.
This brings me back to my original frustration. So after that ordeal of having to watch an absolute piece of crap movie, we all agreed it would be cool to watch some standup comedy to follow it up. (Which turned out that I was the only person who found this to be crap. Boy would I have killed to have someone with taste in the house to even the odds then). So we stuck in a disk and we chose a set that had apparently what they were passing off as “an all-star lineup”. Of the whole hour set I watched, I didn’t have a genuine laugh once! Not one! I had more cigarettes in that hour than I had laughs. Don’t get me wrong, I had the odd giggle or snigger really. But the truth is it wasn’t genuine fall of your chair kind of humor.
I thought to myself “what is this”? What has the world coming to? Has the world lost their ability to come up with an essentially funny thought? Lets look at it this way, the whole hour long production every person had the same topics. For the men; Weed, bitches (women), wives, alcohol, sex, gay people, money, politics, their mothers and being ghetto. For the women: Husbands, big dicks, small dicks, sex, money, Jamie Foxx, white woman with black men and being ghetto. I know what you are thinking, original isn’t it. And this isn’t only subjected to black people. Russell Peters a Canadian-Indian follows the exact same formula. His famous “my white friend got me beat “joke, which was turned into a you tube song, is almost exactly the same as every one of the jokes with the same subject from every other comedian who has cracked that joke. I even heard an underground comedian use the same name of the white kid is Peters’ joke.
The problem is I feel with comedians is not only the lack of creativity but most them lack the key ingredient of comedy, which is self-depreciation and self-loathing. Now-a-days comedians are too busy making fun of people around them than at themselves. This was the formula that made people like Mac and Pryor great. Woody Allen made a whole career of hating himself and his Jewish heritage, and the fact that he was slowing starting to turn into what he hated most.
Problem is that these comedians are bring their second rate routines into film, and thus helping to create an era of crap humor. You would think the age of slap stick comedy would be long gone. You could understand maybe during the apartheid era this shit would have been probably the only comedy that showed here, but come on people! This is the 21st Century, we are supposed to be smart people with the ability to understand wit and intellectuality, but somehow we can’t seem to evolve. Physically we are evolving yet our brains aren’t. It completely baffles me how Leon Schuster can out sell really decent comedies like Superbad or I Love You Man or even Death at a Funeral (USA). Even though the later is a complete rip off or its English predecessor, it still had major star power, can watching some other stupid old man with a fat midget doing stuff he did as a youngster and acting like a thirteen year old really be that funny. Does that really tickle the nation’s fancy?
If that’s the case I wanna move to Canada I hear they have low taxes there.
Here is a link to part of a documentary film call Why We Laugh about black comedienns.