Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Sheriff Is A Ni(boonnnnngg)

There's a reason they say that comedy isn't pretty. Look underneath some of the best comedies in the world, and you'll find a pretty pessimistic mindset. This is as it should be, the world ain't that much to look at either, and what better way to acknowledge this than to recognize it and laugh it away. It makes us human, people. It helps us to cope.

The South Park movie isn't pretty. Borat isn't pretty. Zany, mad cap fare like It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World features venality as its central conceit.

The unfortunate aspect of all this is that in order to participate in it, in order to create it, you have to go to the outer edges of taste. Go back and look at and listen to The Aristocrats. Sarah Silverman's Jesus Is Magic is a (hilarious) parade of wrongness.

The loneliest and ugliest side of comedy is particularly noticeable in stand up. Literally, you against them, the pressure's immense, and you're constantly on the defensive. Hecklers add an extra dimension that comedy on the screen does not really have.

All of that said, it doesn't make what Michael Richards did and said any more excusable, but it makes it kind of understandable; god knows I'd lose my shit regularly in that setting.

I bring this up, because JJ's talking about it over at The Dirty Jester...Have a look, say something, if you're inclined.

Edited to add: Well, I just saw the victims on the Today show, and am happy to find out they weren't punks, and Richard's tirade wholly unfounded and even more tasteless. However, I'm struck by their attourney's spotlight-hogging greed. I'm sorry, but she's about as offensive as the original meltdown was to me right now.

10 Comments:

At 5:15 AM, Blogger abbyladybug said...

I was horrified. His apology on Letterman was interesting. In other news, I found Jesus is Magic unwatchable.

 
At 11:33 AM, Anonymous flamingbanjo said...

I've been heckled, and I can definitely sympathize with the rage thing. Reminds me of Chris Rock's bit: "I'm not saying it's right, I'm just saying I understand."

That's it for him, though. Some things you can't take back. Just ask Mel.

 
At 2:00 PM, Blogger Joe said...

I just don't get what it was that made him flip out like that. He was basically raving. Most definitely not funny.

 
At 2:17 PM, Blogger the beige one said...

That is the question, and why I mentioned the need for more complete footage of the night over at JJs...I just have my suspicion that the other side of the equation wasn't as polite as all that.

Loving Salon's over-reaction to his apology. It's as if they don't want to recognize the humanity, as if this were a binary situation...What's the old saying about protesting too much?

 
At 5:20 PM, Blogger Missuz J said...

I know that question was retorical, but I think it's from Hamlet--his mom saying "The lady doth protest overmuch" or something similar.

 
At 4:46 PM, Blogger Prego said...

I agree with the brothers. That sh*t was uncalled for.

That's why I don't buy into the cult of fame. Yeah, *sshole. Thanks for Kramer, now go on your merry way.

Those 16-19 minutes can be a b*tch.

On the plus side, he didn't say sh*t about us beige people,

 
At 11:27 AM, Blogger JJisafool said...

I just wish you beige people would pick a side. Goddamned flip-floppers.

Because of you, TBO, I picked up Blazing Saddles to watch at the Rep tonight. Haven't seen it in probably 20+ years, and probably didn't understand it the first time I did. Should be an interesting re-view.

 
At 3:39 PM, Blogger the beige one said...

20+ years???

man, no wonder.

 
At 7:29 PM, Blogger Kate said...

Just a side note:
The man and I went to see Danny Hoch at bumbershoot a couple years ago. Damn funny...on purpose. Anyway, at one point he told a story about when he was asked to appear on Seinfeld. Hewas told he'd have a great spot. When they told him he was playing a latino pool guy, he was miffed. But he did it anyway and played it straight. They (Jerry, Michael, Jason et al) wanted him to stereotype it up and he wouldn't, so they started acting like 8th graders around him and made fun of him in bizarre ways. So he quit the episode and flew home to New York.
He said that he would have left it at that, but they didn't even pay him for his time, so that was when he started telling the story. I had always kind of liked the show but later remembered friends who were either gay or non white who had a distaste for the stereotypes on the show.
It kind of gives a glimpse into the culture that maybe made Richards forget how to act in the real world.

 
At 2:11 PM, Blogger JJisafool said...

Yeah, I retract my "asking for money makes them sound like punks" remarks and placethat blame firmly on the greedy soulless bitch of a lawyer, and clearly this casts Richards in an even worse light.

 

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