Issues involving comedy always hit me hard in the brain. It's a wonderful tool of empowerment for the individual and society (or it CAN be) but it's eternally NOT UNDERSTOOD. Like a sense of humor or knack for jokes is this mystical entity betrothed upon a person by their high school year book's declaration of "class clown." It was implied repeatedly to me in my performance classes in art school that something funny could not be serious nor art. "It's funny but..."
That's not to say that people can't be hurt by even the best joke. That feeling is authentic.
I remember posting something in response to a woman complaining about their family watching a kinda shitty black male comic. I posted this Lenny Bruce clip:
Someone (prob w/o watching the whole clip) said, "what's good about replying to a racist comedian with another one?" And it kinda kicked me in the stomach. Because that's SO not what his bit is about! I see that bit (done at an entirely different time as this next one) on the same level as this:
Comedy should be studied. There should be majors for it in state universities. It's so much more than "is it funny?"
-off soapbox- Today 5:28pm
There are places that study comedy, most of them are on the west coast. This is one example. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Groun… <—-This is one of the most exclusive/successful comedy schools. 29 minutes ago
Definitely. I'm in Chicago right now so Second City and IO are here along with side groups like the Neo-Futurist Theater, etc.
But those places are manufactured schools where the primary qualification for "graduation" is money (this was brought up in the lack of black women at SNL by Azie Dungey ("Ask a Slave") and Amani Starnes (United Colors of Amani).)
For the lack of a better word, they're fake schools (though scanning the Groundlings page, they do an audition for Basic). And they're performer or writer based. It isn't about academic study... about legitimizing comedy as an intellectual art.
I watched the Whoopi Goldberg headed documentary on Moms Mabley this past weekend and OMG TOTALLY DOING A POST ON IT ONCE I GET OVER A LITTLE "I'M A WHITE WHITEY WHITE GIRL TALKING ABOUT MOMS MABLEY!" I nearly cried when they had a professor from ASU saying that stand-up is the purest ART FORM because it's simply a person and a microphone. ART FORM! I've never heard that from anyone but myself!
I think it exists separately in a lot of areas: Drama, psychology, sociology, anthropology. But it hasn't been brought together (as far as my knowledge goes) for it's own right to exist. 2 minutes ago