Thursday, June 12, 2003

Mea Culpa

Gentle Readers. Or Um, reader. I have a confession. One of my very first entries was a furious screed about the evils of Reality Television.

I ranted at length of my deep and abiding hatred of all things “Reality”. I wallowed in my disgust in the genre, my repulsion of the hosts and my bitter disregard of the contestants.

Mea Robert Culpa, Mea Nisson Maxima Culpa.

I watched a reality show. It’s all Jay Mohrs fault. Funny Bastard.

To my ever lasting shame and remorse, I enjoyed it.

Last Comic Standing broke my Reality Show cherry and it didn’t even hurt.

Having never watched even a second of the wretched genre I don’t know how it rates along side them. I do know they put the comics, note, not contestants alleged amatures in a house together in Las Vegas – and that does squick me out, but I will allow that. I wouldn’t trust those people alone in their own hotel rooms either, can you imagine the mini-bar charges alone? The pay-per-porn? And since these people are all ready professional attention whores we can be spared the illusion of naivate. Bunking them all together they can at least keep track of them.

At least that’s what I’m telling myself. It’s not to create false drama or make us care about the contestants in any way. I all ready don’t care about the contestants. I don’t need to watcheveryone sit ina circle and take turns remembering the first time they just knew they were funny or tearfully recount the first time they Died on stage. I don’t need to watch them braid each other’s hair or another reality main stay - talk about who they want to hook up with next “Watch next week for Heather and Brian’s bad hook up to end up in both their acts!”

I think it would be really funny if one of them killed another of them and we spent the rest of the run trying to figure out who did it.

I was a comic. I was one of them. I did the cloaking my pain in a punchline . I joked about my boyfriend being more deeply involved with his virtual friends online then he was in his real live girlfriend in his dorm room. I made light of my roommate relating to me like I was nothing more then her answering machine by joking about being treated like an answering machine. I honestly really hated the girl for treating me like that and being ignored by my boyfriend really hurt my feelings. Lot’s of laughs. But that’s the point, the audience will stand in for a therapist and will do so willingly – if you do it right.

I noticed that there weren’t many chicks in the bunch from NYC and LA they took to Vegas. There are only so much self loathing and cat jokes that they could bring themselves to unleash on the viewing public – many of whom may have not been to a Comedy Club since the 80s when the one woman on the bill used her time to bitch about being the one woman on the bill.

None of her jokes included references to her penis or how drunk she was last night, or her bitchy, demanding, evil girlfriend. She seemed funnier and more original then she was. Her act was different from the other five guys on the bill and that’s all that mattered. The five guys on the bill were all doing variations on either half assed, bad Robin Williams (coke jokes and talking penis’) or vile Jerry Seinfield (Have you ever noticed… and what’s with…) so her jokes (about her biological clock, her meddling, grandchild obsessed Mother, and how her cat is just like a little person because…) Killed every night.

More then one chick on the bill was a huge problem for both of them. Your whole act was centered on being the Chick on the bill. The guys all had to have competively bad Williams and Seinfeld knock off acts. Chicks got used to not having to compete with each other. No one really wants to hear two acts about PMS and ungrateful boyfriends. Bad Rosie O’Donnel or Ellen Degenerous knock offs are even worse then not funny, they are boring. Every female comic in the country had the same damn act and every male comic had same damn blazer. Judy Tenute and Emo Phillips were total comic punk rock , their acts wern’t a whole lot different then the others but at least their wardrobe was.

Back to Staged Reality.

Some of the comics were just bad. When you take the stage, Take The Damn Stage. Simpering and giving the mike stand a hand job does not bring the funny. Too many of them tippy toed up there and presided to apologize for being up there in the first place. The comic that followed that wallowed in the undeserved laugher from an audience that was dieing to laugh at anything.

Most audiences are too polite to laugh at a comic that is too timid to make them laugh. Mumble your act or laugh at your own jokes and they smell the fear.The point is to make them laugh as quickly as possible as hard as possible - because you want them to laugh. It’s really a power thing. You are controlling how they feel right now. You can make them feel. They will laugh at what you want them too when you want them too. It is a powerful weapon to weld. Everybody cries at more or less the same thing, laughter is more subjective. Dead puppies are sad for the whole world, your hostile work environment is kind of sad for you.

Buddy Hacket and Colin Quinn, comedy gold.

I feel nessary to point out that I did not watch the whole two hours. I taped the second hour as I had an actual scripted drama with real actors to watch and that took precident. Watch Lucky this and every week and make up for American Stage Mothers being on at all and getting better ratings despite being about tortured children. So, Hot, Sexy Gambler and his Kewl Side Kicks and The Hot, Sexy Gamblers’ Feisty Blond Girlfriend or state sponsored torture of small children. It’s up to you.

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