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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

$240 worth of pudding

If there's something that makes me sound like a total old timer, it's talking about comedy. Without fail, stuff from the Marx Brothers and Bill Cosby always makes me laugh. Yet there are certain forms of comedy from the last fifteen years that baffle me. And it's easy to make light of them because I don't find them really that funny or completely unfunny. (I still don't get how a movie like There's Something Like Mary is considered so-laugh-out-loud-it-hurts funny. How is the "We've got a bleeder!" gag funny? Seriously. And this is coming from somebody who fell onto the floor laughing at the South Park movie on the first viewing)

Anyway, a particular example of comedy I don't necessarily always get, but don't necessarily always dismiss, is found on Mr. Show, The Kids in the Hall, and The State. Sometimes I get the humor and laugh; other times I just wonder what the hell is going on, and how did the writers come up with this stuff. In the case of The State, I wonder where the idea for $240 worth of pudding comes from, but I can't help laugh every time I see the sketch.

Reading through Nathan's review of the complete State series on DVD, I'm thankful there's still people out there that don't have the rose-colored glasses on with this show. Yes, there's great stuff, and yes, there's "What the?" stuff. And as passionate people can be about their love for the show, this is a prime example of a show that I could laugh at that my parents probably wouldn't laugh at. Meaning, there's still plenty of people that just don't get this kind of stuff. Maybe that's why the show has such a cult following.

For me, I think about the "What the?" stuff and why I don't get it. There's something about comedy that resonates with people: how and where the humor comes from real life. Why do you think Bill Cosby's stuff and Jerry Seinfeld's stuff still holds up well? Real life is the basis for the material and real life is presented clearly in the material. When I see something that seems to be written while the writers were stoned, I wonder if I have to be stoned, and with a group of friends, to laugh at it.

Maybe that's the key: deep-rooted prejudice with the notion of why people routinely get baked. So coupling that with the kind of humor people laugh at when they're stoned, I scratch my head. And no, I'm not about to get into a baking routine so I can understand the humor. I guess that's the Sam the Eagle in me.

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