Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Comedy Thoughts

I read a cool magazine article the other day (it was either Rolling Stone, Psychology Today, or possibly a branch of the GQ/Esquire family)about comedy. One of the comedy writers they interviewed noted that comedy by nature is offensive, but the only people who are offended are people who have been personally affected by the particular issue.

In other words, people weren't offended by stuff that happened to other people. As a hypothetical example, if the guy wrote a sketch about--I don't know, a guy getting hit in a face with a pie--every one in the crowd would laugh but the one guy who saw his mother hit in the face with a pie and it scarred him for life wrote in going "I didn't think that was funny at all."

I think that's true, both in my experience as a comic and a human being. The Palin/Clinton sketch that I found so funny actually offended a surprising amount of people (including several of John McCain's campaign staff, apparently). When someone makes a joke at my expense, I tend not to be bothered unless it's something that hits too close to the bone, in which case I catch myself thinking "That's not funny."

Which is sometimes true, but often not. Sometimes the joke isn't funny. Other times it's hilarious, but I just don't have the perspective to see it at the time.

I find it interesting that the humo(u)r we find offensive says more about us than it does about the comedian.

Speaking of funny, here are my upcoming events including a HILARIOUS comedy show on the 29th.

Upcoming Comedy
Monday, September 29 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton

Upcoming Living Columns in the Edmonton Journal
Friday, September 19
Friday, October 3
Current Living article is up here.

Dan's musings on shyness and relationships can be found at

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