Comedy Queens (and the suicidal art)

comedy

I’ve been cruising through some comedy material on Twitter. The funny lines make me laugh, which cheers me up, which keeps me from yelling in traffic, which makes the world a lovelier place. It’s all for a good cause. Humor keeps the world from imploding. Humor keeps the foul-mouthed from exploding.

There are a lot of comedians. The good ones are out there. You for sure have to be selective though. One unfortunate thing I’ve noticed is that there are a lot of women comedians who use the GIF (“Guys I F***ed”) attempt at humor. It’s super lame. While it might be done to shock people, or to make controversy, or even to get more male followers, it just doesn’t work as humor.

It may work as shock material. People who are shocked are usually out of their element in any conversation, but the same goes for abruptly crass people, the ones doing the shocking. Both ends of that human spectrum are awkward. Both types are awkward in a conversation, in a comedy act, or even on Twitter. And when you’re awkward, you push some people away. They either get annoyed at you or they just realize their set of personal boundaries makes it so they can’t hang with you. It’s not that they don’t appreciate you as a human, struggling to make life work. It’s that people have limits. You want to light a campfire, they might come around for the camaraderie; you want to set yourself on fire, they’re not going to want to watch that. Or smell it! Ugh!

The GIF attempt may work as controversial material. The irony of this article is centered on the controversial—-still, the fact of the GIF attempt being unfunny remains. The question here is how long can you remain controversial without eventually backpedaling on something you said?

The GIF may get a woman more male followers on Twitter, but they aren’t following her because her comedy routine is funny. They’re following her like a porn site. How much self-respect does a person have when they turn their funny into porn, even if it’s considered soft porn? (I dint give no details!) Keep in mind that it could also be considered soft comedy. Not quite porn. Not quite comedy. See how that works? They’re the same. Know what else is the same? Humor about flatulence. Fart humor is at about the same level as GIF. Puerile and naive, they both hit the maturity level we call prepubescent. If that’s as high as you can aim, well then, set up camp in the field of mediocrity.

Most of these methods strike me as suicidal. Not literal physical death, but comedic career death. How can you get a solid career going if you’ve alienated the majority of your potential audience?

Just to put it in perspective, maybe we could compare some of the greatest ladies of comedy: Lily Tomlin, Carol Burnett, Lucille Ball, Whoopi Goldberg, Roseanne Barr, Ellen DeGeneres, Tina Fey. Certainly not a complete list, but these are names that stand out. How many of these could you say did the GIF kind of humor I’m talking about?

Published by Kurt Gailey

This is where I'm supposed to brag about how I've written seven novels, five screenplays, thousands of short stories, four self-help books, and one children's early-reader, but I'd rather stay humble. You can find out about things I've written or follow my barchive (web archive, aka 'blog) at xenosthesia.com or follow me on twitter @kurt_gailey. I love sports and music and books, so if you're an athlete or in a band or you're a writer, give me a follow and I'll most likely follow you back. I've even been known to promote other people's projects.

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