No One Hates a Laugh More Than Me… BSOH

As I woke up far too early this morning, I thought I would read the comments under newspaper articles about comedy so I could round of the edges of my sociopathy.

Once I might have thought the blunt, aggressive certainty in the opinions was due ot the softness of the subject, you don’t have to do much reading to declare yourself an expert on comedy, after all, you’ve seen some comedy once and it made you cross as it wasn’t proper comedy like Jethro/Stewart Lee/Dan Leno (delete as applicable). Experience now shows that blunt, aggressive certainty does not merely come with the simpler subjects, it is an attitude that can happily be used with Gaza or Climate Change or the International Monetary Fund. Doubt, evidence and research have no place here. Are so many British pubs closing down, not because of the rise in booze prices, smoking ban, or loss of the pickled egg jar on the bar, but because we can all be rancid, bullying, opinionated bores in the comfort of our own under stairs cupboard?

I am still trying to work out why it is that comedy makes people so furious. I like fury, I’ve been working on my own for years. The veins on my temples are the most magnificently developed part of my physique due to their frequent workouts. Most of my anger is futile. I am most likely to die shouting at a disobedient inanimate object.

With so much to get worked up about, why be annoyed at an individual who leaves you mirthless? But this is something that riles people beyond all sensible proportions.
I rarely see this volume of venom for cultish singers, minor movies, or occasional poets.
And many of the stand ups who get the most online abuse are not in your face, mass media darlings, you have to seek them out to be infuriated by them.

“Shall we go and see something we like?”
“don’t be stupid, darling, where is the joy in that? I wish to experience the joy of being joyless and furious. We’ll have to drive 400 miles further, but there is someone who says words in an order and rhythm that I do not like. I also dislike their face and opinions, get in the car.”

Everyone “knows funny”, it is what makes them laugh, all other laughter is in error, and they better tell people. Some of these idiots are laughing not realising they shouldn’t be, fortunately, there are plenty of people out there helpfully bruising the internet with their bog standard certainty.

My very funny/slightly funny/utterly unfunny shows are currently at the Edinburgh Fringe for 11 Days – I am jumping about saying things about the mind HERE and getting cross with Michael Legge HERE .

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9 Responses to No One Hates a Laugh More Than Me… BSOH

  1. 5affy says:

    I see comedy as a safety valve on society – where all that is unmentionable is mentioned in an open way. This leads to airing of skeletons in closets and healthy discussion. And I’ve asked comedians about this and that seems to be the general stance but I’ve ended up in arguments (real life and electronic) and being attacked on the internets for saying – but that was a joke and said sarcastically at that, it doesn’t mean the comedian is evil/stupid/up them selves/self obsessed or playing for sympathy.

    I think the issue is that comedy is still shoved into boxes depending on a persons back ground – people do not find the same things funny, the issue is that people then think they have the right to censor or stop acts they find unfunny, purely because they do not ‘get’ the joke. For some people I think that, that missing the punch line/not understanding is a threat. It makes them feel stupid so they lash out.

    Also I think that heckling and trolling on line etc… has become a power fix – as you say bullying behaviour – they feel so small and helpless but oh look they can make a comedians life a misery, after all how dare they not conform with MY class/culture sensibilities.

    There is a reason I stick to poetry performance and that gets enough hate at main stream events, I think anyone who gives comedy a shot is very brave and has a much thicker skin than I!

  2. lovingangel1 says:

    For myself, I think comedy works best when it’s not directed at mocking vulnerable people in society. Because of this Lee Evans is one if my favourites; he turns everyday, average situations that all of us can relate to and puts a comedic spin on them. That’s what I personally love his type
    about comedy skills. It hurts no one, offends no one (well, apart from maybe his wife.. lol) and at the end of the performance all you’re left with is a belly ache from all the laughter.

    Now switch this to one of my least favourite comedian, Frankie
    Boyle; whom takes immense pleasure in posting youtube clips on twitter of frail old ladies, with walking frames, falling face first on the pavement

    • lovingangel1 says:

      For myself, I think comedy works best when it’s not directed at mocking vulnerable people in society. Because of this Lee Evans is one if my favourites; he turns everyday, average situations that all of us can relate to and puts a comedic spin on them. That’s what I personally love his type
      about comedy skills. It hurts no one, offends no one (well, apart from maybe his wife.. lol) and at the end of the performance all you’re left with is a belly ache from all the laughter.

      Now switch this to one of my least favourite comedian, Frankie
      Boyle; whom takes immense pleasure in posting youtube clips on twitter of frail old ladies, with walking frames, falling face first on the pavement. He is clearly not only using another’s quite evident pain and suffering but mocking a very vulnerable member of society. Someone whom normally we should be protecting and feel empathy for. On a moral level it seems somewhat ‘unhuman’ and quite cruel. Yeah, we’ve all laughed at some point when your mate has walked into a lamp post, but would you still laugh knowing she then broke her nose, needed to have surgery to fix it, was in so much pain started downing strong painkillers and became addicted to them? It suggests people don’t use their emotional intelligence to try and see the others persons pain.

      For this reason watching the ‘you’ve been framed’ episodes where people are slamming and smashing themselves into everything and anything, just doesn’t do it for me. It’s a simple reminder of the heartlessness of humanity and how people can have such a deep darkness to them that quite frankly leaves me with disturbing prickles on my skin.

  3. lovingangel1 says:

    Need to apologise for my bad spelling & grammer. The media I’m typing on isn’t the best & I just woke up… lol (excuses, excuses) :-p

  4. liliannberg says:

    I admire all stand-up comedians, the sheer guts it takes to expose your thoughts and ruminations to a live audience’s likes and dislikes. Nowadays, if you miss a beat, the whole world will know about it before a performer even left the stage. Social media is both a curse and a blessing, as everyone’s vying for their 15 minutes of fame.

    It connects, but mostly it disconnects, raise hackles and make you realize how much stupidity and wrath is churning about in cyberspace. It’s not a happy place, well the world is not a happy place, but before the www we had breathing space between disasters, We went out to have a good time, to laugh and forget. We were still critical, but the range of our ire and dissatisfaction was usually limited by letters to the editor of our local rag, not half the worlds population. Perhaps we were even more inclined to benevolence, to seeing the funny side of things. I miss those days.

  5. @bethkesh says:

    It’s very easy to forget the buffoon that one is so righteously correcting in one’s Twitter rant is a) human and b) probably Googling themselves like five times a day seeking love and approbation from strangers, hoping their opinion is Liked, +1ed, RTed. Like I am. Right now. It can get very meta on the internet.

    Having said that, I get an almost physical urge to throw something at Lee Evans when he comes on the telly. I cannot explain it. I am in most other ways quite rational, I know I have the choice to change the channel and that throwing something at a television would prove futile at best but still, there it is. I apologise to Mr Evans. I could say it’s nothing personal, except I guess it really is.

    The human mind is a strange and wonderful thing and unfortunately all species of intelligence are now permanently hooked up to a giant worldwide megaphone, all shouting at once. We can’t all be funny and we can’t all be right. But we’ll damn well give it a go!

    X

  6. Gerry Kinsella says:

    I find NO stand ups funny. As in they NEVER make me laugh. If I do catch one I just keep thinking and why are you telling me this? They think they’re really clever and interesting and it can pass a few minutes watching someone that sure of themselves but really its such as odd thing to do (not as odd as acting) that its amazing anyone does it. I suppose if the masses are spending their hard earned on it prob because their lives are so deary and their friends are so boring. I think kids get into it because they think its easy money but to do the same talk night after night over and over Jesus.

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