Le rire

Last night I watched a two-hour “laugh festival” on TV, and I never laughed. I might have smiled a few times but I never laughed out loud. Very sad.
The entire thing was a rather pathetic affair and I felt sorry for the captive audience that had to endure this unappetizing “comedic” smorgasbord… and pay for it.

Everybody wants to laugh, but to induce laughter requires brains, good timing and an extremely dexterous touch… and few comedians have it.
Many rely on slapstick, pratfalls, vulgarity, gross sexual innuendos and those things are seldom amusing.

A bad comedian is like a homely girl wearing too much makeup to compensate for her lack of charm.
He relies on shticks to compensate for his lack of talent and can seldom hit a homerun.

But the comedy business is no laughing business. It is a multi-million industry and it needs to churn out the goods.
And this is the “raison d’être” for all the pathetic “sitcoms” (and their obnoxious laugh track) that are a daily offering on American TV.
Half of them should be weighed down with an anchor and dropped into the ocean.

You cannot be continuously funny week after week.
I once read about a man who was a renowned wit. He was in great demand in all the literary salons, and each time he made an appearance, he effortlessly dropped one or two sparkling gems.
Needless to say that he was revered for his easy wit.
What people didn’t know was the fact that he worked very hard to produce such gems.
If he couldn’t come up with something genuinely clever, he pretended to be indisposed and stayed home. Fearing to tarnish his stellar reputation he could stay home for weeks at a time.

Many comedians should heed this advice.

Humor also evolves. What was hilarious fifty years ago is probably not funny today.
When I was very young I used to love Jerry Lewis. Today I absolutely loathe him.

It is said that laughing is the best medicine, but bad medicine can have unexpected and unwanted side effects.
If a prescription shows some undesirable side effects it should be discontinued, and so should bad comedians.

When people are laughing, they’re generally not killing each other.” Alan Alda
It seems that we need more good comedians and fewer bad diplomats.

Alain

A semi-good comedic routine:

http://youtu.be/lUr3XbROoA8

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