My good friend Mr. Fancypants logged his last blog entry as a review of our former sketch comedy troupe. One member of that troupe has kept up a blog where he summarizes both mine and the so called fanypants’ blogs in 100 words or less. There is yet one more blog in this sphere that is run by a current member of my former troupe, but his blog doesn’t relate to my story.
All this inter-connectivity, made me come face to face with a couple of key issues. None of the people that have started blogs from my former comedy troupe are women. This blogging adventure that I am on, is one that provides itself with a very incestuous audience. I like comedy.
I also went to the comedy show that said fanciest of pants reviewed, and I found it to be a great fun time. I’m not gonna analyze their show though because I have a hard time talking about others without talking about myself. So, instead of guising an opportunity for me to tell a story about how I’ve come to the conclusions I’ve come to as a comedian in a selfless analysis of others’ work, I will simply talk about myself, my relationship to other people’s comedy, and the X-Men.
My freshman year I wrote my first sketch. I wrote it at 2:30 in the morning the night before audition callbacks. I wrote it because when I asked if it would help me get into the troupe to have a writing sample, the current members seemed at least mildly excited. It was probably unneeded. It probably hurt more than it helped. It probably was one of the worst scripts I’ve ever written. After extensive edits we performed the sketch in my first show with “Bad Comedy.” The sketch was very well received, but on further reflection, I have come to hate that sketch.
It was about a very homophobic football player who was very homoerotic. Way too easy of a premise. And there was no twist. Sure it escalated, but it didn’t escalate and then turn sharply to the side, or backwards – something I strive for in all the sketches I write now. I learned to do this because the people who had to enjoy my sketch for it to be chosen as a part of the show were jaded comedians who were unsurprised by easy jokes. Their sketches usually started by turning sharply the side and then continued to jut back and forth like a ladybug on meth. Often, this twitchy journey of comedic Tourette’s left audience in the dust and sometimes coerced them out of their seats. So, I attempted to find a happy medium. Then I realized that it wasn’t a medium that I was trying to find, but rather a way to get the audience to be on the same level as me and my comedian compatriots when we found a sketch about a guy thinking lesbians wanted to have sex with him unbearably hilarious.
My last two years in that college sketch comedy troupe were riddled floundering flops and super successes… and awesome alliterations. But it was an educational experience, and one that has allowed me to come to some conclusions about what makes good comedy that is thought provoking, society bending, and still most importantly – hilarious.
The same attributes I find desirable in friends and lovers are the ones I find desirable in comedy. I want my comedy to be unbearably self-aware, filled with social ineptitude, loud and showy, and with firm round titties. No comedy is good comedy without some tig ole bitties. This led me to write very formulaic sketches. They had at least two multiple minute silences, they referenced the fact that they were a sketch/broke fourth and sometimes fifth walls, and there was an absurd character who made everybody confused while wearing flashy costume pieces and yelling loudly. Luckily my comedy troupe was filled with c-cups, so I didn’t have to worry about writing in boobs.
Sometimes I wish I weren’t such a mathematically minded man so that I wouldn’t find the formula to an enjoyable sketch – it loses all the magic. Only sometimes. Most of the time I like analyzing which sketches fit the formula best. The sketch that follows this funny-function to the variable (<-hilarious math pun) is my sketch: “The Fascinating Mis-adventures of Jonathan Swenson.”
The sketch starts on a date where the two actors bumble through a horribly awkward conversation that includes one character implying that abortion is a disease, one character accidentally laughing at a family death, and two multiple minutes of silence. The awkwardness is broken by Jonathan Swenson – the loud mouthed, pun-filled, backwards moving, beautifully acted saint of the awkward date. He confuses his date goers, breaks the fourth wall, doesn’t allow the other characters to break the fourth wall, and then leaves with a “hardcore dice roll,” a whoopee cushion in the chili.
What made this sketch work was the fact that it started with an age old premise, turned it upside down and then rammed into it with a sketch that had no business being involved in this comedy crash. “Sister Borders” is another perfect example of this formula. Out in the real comedy world there are a few groups of comedians either follow this formula of self-aware, awkward, loud tittied comedy or at the very least take well known premises and then shake them like a baby and crash them like a car – Derrick Comedy and STELLA being the best out there now. (Best example)
Both are groups that met at NYU – the one school I didn’t get into.
I’ve managed to ramble on through this entry in an ironically unfunny manner, so I’m gonna try to make this entry worthwhile – synonym of funny – in these last three sentences.
I type this on a ……….. well……………………………………….. a computer in my former college’s library because my laptop is broken. I wish I weren’t wearing a bright green vest, and pink and orange shirt so that my former classmates wouldn’t notice me, because then I could do what I would do on my computer at home: gently weep and masturbate simultaneously ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. I didn’t mean to type that out loud.
I don’t think the mathematical analysis works for this medium. Sorry I didn’t talk about X-Men.
4 thoughts on “Why comedy seems like a lot of work”
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It’s pretty much impossible to write about humor and be funny at the same time.
Also, I think the principal pooped his pants.
Thanks for plugging me.
And also thanks for mentioning my blog.
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