Saturday, March 04, 2006

Brief thoughts on comedy

    Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die. -Mel Brooks

During lunch at work, some of the guys and I started swapping jokes, the usual sort of thing that guys do when left alone to their own devices without HR supervision. As a regular adult hu-nam on this planet who likes the funny, I've both heard and heard of many many jokes in my time, not just a few from just reading joke books and listening to stand-up comics.

That said, even when I've heard or read a joke before, I have to appreciate the inherent skill in the delivery. (Of the deliverer? By the joke-teller? No matter.) As someone tells me a joke, I start to think about which joke they chose to tell, ruling out punchlines and situations, nodding along as I ride the wave of their delivery like a familiar tune played by a live band. When someone tells me a joke, I've generally heard it. But I haven't heard them tell me that joke. Therein lies entertainment.

Not to bring my ego into this (even though it is all about me), but folks have told me that I'm a pretty funny guy. As a relatively funny guy, I don't do well with a joke script.


See what I mean? Maybe it's the medium. I have a much more reactive style of comedy, working with wit and the moment.

However, I do know the secret of comedy. Ask me sometime, I'll tell you.

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