Sunday, December 12, 2010

COMEDY IS NO LAUGHING MATTER

It’s a commonly held belief/snobbery/stupidity, that those who amuse and entertain are less intelligent and important than those who teach and cure and govern. Comedians are considered foolish because they make us smile.
Good grief, where’s the logic in that?
Why is laughter considered frivolous and unimportant when it has been scientifically proven to reduce stress hormones, muscle tension, support the immune system and increase energy?

Comedians and entertainers’ opinions on matters other than jokes and frivolity are not solicited or taken seriously. Why is that?

Like the court jester, the king’s fool, who had a certain power and told the truth wrapped in jokes, Jon Stewart is America's court jester. Witty and smart, selected to interview Barack Obama in an unsuccessful effort to seduce voters in 2010, he got away with calling the POTUS, “Dude”, in true court jester style. The comedian actually came off looking more resolute, decisive and insightful than his interviewee. But we don’t see him interviewed on Face the Nation or Meet the Press. Why is that?
When a comedian gives a serious opinion on anything, people tend to start laughing before he’s finished speaking, even though what he’s saying isn't funny.

Not only are comedians considered foolish but they're expected to be light-hearted and happy at all times.  Comedians are multi-faceted human beings with highs and lows just like everybody else, in fact they may even have a few more lows than most of us. Jim Carrey
was once thought not to have a brain in his head because he made faces and did funny walks. Now we can see his more thoughtful work and interviews that shot down that theory.

Comedy is never taken seriously. 
There’s no Nobel Prize for humour.
Not even an Oscar.

Why is this?

It’s usually  the tragedies that get the acclaim and the prizes.
But, without cartoons and comedy there would be no philosophers, rocket scientists
, doctors, presidents or Nobel Prize winners. They would all have exploded from excess mental exertion and stress.

You may think it’s a waste of time to unwind with
The Simpsons,
P.G. Wodehouse,
Charlie Hebdo,
Ricky Gervais
Weird Al Yankovic
Eddie Izzard
Fran Lebowitz
Monsieur Hulot.

Try not doing it for a year and see how you feel.
Chances are you’ll be wearing a straightjacket, your co-workers will hate you and your spouse will be planning to kill you.


What is a PARADOX? A couple of physicians.
And what is the meaning of ILLEGAL? A sick bird. 


LAUGHTER CAN COMFORT AND TRANSPORT YOU,
SO WHEN NEXT YOU FEEL LIKE 

PATRONISING A COMEDIAN,
 PLAY THIS

AND RESPECT THE POWER
*
LAUGHTER, COMEDY, WRITING,  JIM CARREY, JON STEWART

3 comments:

dartacus said...

This might be an US-only preconception: I'm forever seeing comedians on politics programmes in the UK, even the ultra-serious programming such as BBC Question Time, alongside politicians and quote-unquote serious journalists.

Political satire has it's own power to influence and inform: a really well-crafted piece of satire can do more to sway voters than many a speech. Humour seems to offer a shortcut to people's mental opinion centres.

Not that I disagree with you, per se: it is easy to sideline the court jester.

G

Nora Lumiere said...

So, in the UK, comedians appear on serious political shows and in the US, serious politicians appear on comedy shows.
Many Americans disapproved of Obama’s appearance on Jon Stewart’s very popular show, considering it inappropriate and undignified.

Redheaded Stepchild said...

Great article. I totally agree with you and I think John Stewart is pretty brilliant! I love the baby video!