Is Standup Dead??
I just wanted to add this in for a few reasons.
Has anyone else been unimpressed with the level of standup on LCS, or the level of standup going on now in general?
Listening to some (not all) people, i've come to the conclusion that most of the comedians on LCS are too derivative, and from watching comedy central, i've come to the conclusion that most of the comedians in the world aren't that interesting to watch either. maybe the finals will rock my world. who knows.
Perhaps its just the 3-minute showdown format that ruined it for me. Maybe its just that i'm a snobby literati who thinks that comedy for the common man isn't worth listening to. Maybe there are better routes for humor than stand up comedy - like movies, tv shows, writing, political humor, columnists, etc...
anyhows, any comments on the overall quality of the standup on LCS, and the overall quality of standup these days? is it better live than it is on tv?
AND - the other question - if there is really great bust a gut funny standup going on - tell me who you think is really on fire these days. well known or obscure, etc... etc... (Or is standup now like SNL was in the early 90s?)
Standup comedy isn't dead. But I think I get what you're saying. Actually, your comment bout not liking "comedy for the little man". That's actually what I love i about comedy that's it's often for the little guy. Comedy, historically, has been a response to opression. Comedy is how opressed people often deal. Think about the tons of Jewish comedians that came out of NY. African Americans, lots of humor.
As far as humor being better used through different vehicles instead of standup. Well, I'd say. No, not necessarily. Standup is standup. It's a unique art form. Slapstick is different. Vaudeville was different. Film, stage, books, hell, the circus, all different art forms and venues for humor. Standup is just another. Not worse, not better. But I see standup melding with other forms more and more. Not too many pure standups anymore.
Ya, many standups do seem to me to be very derivative. Almost coming out of a mold, an assembly line. But I think that comes with any art form. You've got painters that are good, very good. They can be perfect. But they can't interpret the world uniquely. In a way that hasn't been done before, and while every way has been done, every person is different and has never existed before exactly in the same way. I'm sure those comedians that we hail as great, we do so because they aren't just "perfect". Heck, maybe they're far from perfect. BUT they are honest and have managed to tap into their uniqueness, and how that part of them is universal.
What I do notice, in comedy I like is often huge RISK. I'd say standup nowadays doesn' take risks. What we see on Comedy Central is acid washed. It's homogonized. I like comedy I don't expect. I don't really care for comedy where, a rail thin comedian walks onstage and talks about being so thin. Yeah, that's a bit funny. But not HYSTERICAL funny to me. I like it when I'm hit with what I don't expect to be hit with. Sure, every comedian risks just walking onstage, but how much they risk in WHAT they say or do, that's what I mean.
I think, for me, it's this. Packaged comedy, not so funny. Live, raw, and untidy "If it doesn't get all over the place, it doesn't belong in your face comedy"... That's what I like. That also doesnt mean angry or rude (it can) Just risky. Truly unexpected. Comedy too unexpected for TV. Go to some clubs. You'll see the packaged stuff, but sometimes that gem.
Stand up comdey is not dead. There are more stand-up comics now than ever.
Yes, I thought the exact same thing. Stand-up has been withering for years- some have said the fault is that comedy central and the cable companies will put on almost ANYONE who has an act because they are desperate to produce new offerings and this has led to a general disinterest in stand-up because it has been diluted by a crowded market of stand-ups who should have never been presented on television to viewers. I think there is some truth to that- in the 80's, HBO delivered some superstar stand-ups in specials - they were events- now it seems like anyone willing to do an open mike can get a shot on television, if only to be seen booted off- because cable has opened the doors- unfortunately, the quality has gone down to such an extent, it's just not exciting to see a new stand-up comic anymore.
You still have your mega-stars- Martin Lawrence and Chris Rock still put out specials and videos of their stand-ups that do very well and are funny. Margaret Cho- mentioned alot on the boards- has become something of a sensation for the last couple of years- her two stand-up tours were sold-out and critical successes as well as popular videos and her new show CHO Revolution will no doubt get the same treatment- but her act is so graphic and shocking, it's a bit out of the mainstream. This is where Rock and Lawrence still have power- they are really the only comedy stand-up videos I ever see at the videostore anymore. I might be missing some, but those are the two that get on the New Release shelf.
One of my first posts here was how disappointed I was in Ralphie's act- but viewing them all so far except for Tess and Rich- it now seems like the best of the bunch. He clearly saw himself in the top three so I was expecting out and out hilarity- it still seems like it could be the editing, so he might still deliver in the Vegas round so I'm interested in hearing him again.
I did see the finals and was amazed that it was not that funny. Maybe people aren't that knock-out funny because you don't HAVE TO BE to get on TV anymore- so standards are lower so they don't have to aim higher- but I agree with you- some of these are amusing- a laugh here or there- but I remember a time when a couple of laughs wasn't good enough- now I'm grateful if I get that.
Originally Posted by zapata
Maybe its simply the dilution of talent? I mean they said the same thing when MLB expanded the leagues (that the talent would be biluted and baseball would be less fun).
Maybe its the fact that we are looking for more. Yesterday's comedy no longer seems as funny as it used to. Somethings are timeless, and some are dated.
Like in all other fields, the best of breed are timeless, the rest become flavors of the month.
Yay, senrik, we got the kitties back. I'm in the minority, as I'm sure you are as cat-MEN.
Let me just say that i also was hoping that people would mention stand up comics that they thought were really good right now. So come on. lol.
Stand-up is stronger than ever. That being said, the talent pool IS a little watered down due to an overabundance of new talent.....seems like everyone is doing comedy lately. I think the problem is that for every ONE good stand-up, you'll witness 10-15 really bad ones (or young ones honing their comedy skills; maybe they'll be great someday.....just not today). Gives the false front that comedy is dead.
And ALL comedy is derivative. Look at any comic--good, bad or neutral--and their material sounds familiar. It's all pretty much been done before. Funny nowaday just depends on HOW you do it.
Watch CC on any given night. Check out "Premium Blend" and "CC Presents..." You'll find some good comics mixed in with the herd. Hadn't seen a showcase in a long time. Checked out Tracy Morgan's "One Mic" yesterday, and I LMAO. Seen him on SNL, Crank Yankers, etc.....always made me laugh. Never saw him in front of the mic. I literally LMAO (I'm in traction as we speak.....)
Stand-up is FAR from dead. Maybe a little punch-drunk, but there are still some contenders out there.
I didnt like Tracy Morgan: One Mic that much. I liked the Wanda Sykes one, Tongue Untied
Stand up is dead.... Dat Killed it. We need to rise up and make Dat pay......
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