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The Forum > Article Comments > Why the future needs great comedians > Comments

Why the future needs great comedians : Comments

By Stephen McGrail, published 7/12/2011

Humour allows us to confront an audience and carry them with us, simultaneously.

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Good stand-up comedians should (most of the time) be confrontational, challenging audience assumptions rather than pandering to them. Unfortunately, Rod Quantock fails dismally in this regard. However, a good example is Arj Barker's routine about 'Awesome Human Theory', whereby it's not humans who are the problem but Nature, as it's too dumb to keep up with us. He also jokes about how it's the toaster that burns his toast, not the toast itself (re-global warming).

There's also a problem with 'heavy vibes'. Regardless of where they're coming from, the comedians who are too 'heavy' just aren't very funny. A recent example is John Cleese, who is normally a comedic genius. However, his routine about his ex-wife and divorce settlement comes nowhere near his earlier (pre-divorce) routines. I think that's because he's too angry and earnest about it all, and a bit nasty too.

Comedians see the absurdity in life. Political Correctness is, or should be, an ideal and easy target. Perhaps the stand-up comedian of this type is the ultimate rebel?
Posted by byork, Wednesday, 7 December 2011 12:29:57 PM
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Perhaps the stand-up comedian of this type is the ultimate rebel?
byork,
If one such individual did put up their hand he'd probably be banned by the PC crowd.
Comedy, singing & general entertainment has reached such a low standard that'll make impossible to ever improve again. We've lost or rather forfeited the required mentality for humour & we're poorer for it.
We cannot have humour when the fun police is blocking your every move. Just remember when Bill Heffernan described Julia Gillard & the flak he copped for pointing out the absurdity & had to apologise. That's not funny at all.
Posted by individual, Wednesday, 7 December 2011 5:19:03 PM
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Everyone's a comedian on Youtube!
There's plenty of humour about, if you know where to look:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTTwcCVajAc

The dance mix:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sP4NMoJcFd4
Posted by Jay Of Melbourne, Wednesday, 7 December 2011 6:16:19 PM
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" The alternative approach espoused by the likes of Rod Quantock of highlighting what they think should be front page news"

Alternative approach .. where? He dribbles government propaganda and even bullies in the government style.

It would be front page news if the media (apart from News Ltd) stopped beating up on climate skeptics and actually reported all of the available material .. I don't say debate, because there is none.

Go have a look at any ABC outlet, you'll find it is the propaganda outlet of the government, as well as government sponsored groups like Getup? the Children's climate crusade, the Flannery climate commission, Garnault reports, the IPCC local members, hundreds of grants to Unis .. what objectivity do you get when the government buys a side?

I am impressed with the young man for risking the ire and bile of Quantock who is well known for his style of victim based "comedy". There is hope yet for our youth.

The government we have now is a rich mine of comedy material, but our "comedians" are only interested in which side they are on. For example, the Chaser "boys" are being rewarded for their efforts of NEVER embarrassing the ALP, with jobs at the ABC. If only they were funny, but I guess it's enough to be so pro ALP.

When comedians pick a side, they cease to cover available material and become, as the ABC is now .. predictable. It is great if you want to see the same side beaten up, the same jokes, the same chanting of the left .. is it funny to berate those you disagree with? Apparently, to the left who insist on imitating intellectual pygmies, some might say.

I'm in the US and have been for a while, at least comedians here pick on both sides and their national broadcasters do not behave like political activists the way Australia's does.
Posted by rpg, Thursday, 8 December 2011 5:54:01 AM
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rpg, there are comedians who challenge the mainstream orthodoxies but, yes, they're outnumbered and you've got to search them out most of the time. Political Correctness kills the comedic spirit as surely as it crushes critical thinking in general. Rowan Atkinson (a brilliant comedian) has taken a strong public stand against PC: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2006/jan/30/immigrationpolicy.religion "Every joke has a victim", as they say.
Posted by byork, Thursday, 8 December 2011 7:06:52 AM
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According to Arthur Keostler in "The Act of Creation" all humour is malicious - it's also part of the great creative discovery process - AAH....AHA!...HAHA!
Posted by Poirot, Thursday, 8 December 2011 7:18:49 AM
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