I found this quote from Norton a little while ago and I think it’s definitely an interesting thought. On one hand I agree, but on the other hand I don’t want to be whiny and all, “COMEDY IS AN ART TAKE IT SERIOUSLY!!!” Because you can’t take it too seriously. It’s comedy!
“Why is comedy the only form of the arts where people think they have to agree with or approve the content? You don’t walk through a museum with a towel and throw it over paintings you don’t like.”
This quote is from Jim Norton’s special American Degenerate. Jim Norton is great because he’s one of the main voices on this subject. He’s also one of the only more political comics who I find really funny.
It was a rainy, freezy day this past week when I met up with Kaitlyn Kieronski, a fellow alum of the always lovely Avery Coonley School and a current senior at NYU. We rendezvoused at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in the West Village (a venue that offers much more than it’s name suggests) to warm up with a cup of coffee and chat about graphic art – one part of Kaitlyn’s very complicated, self-designed major.
We talked about Walt Disney, voice acting, Cartoon Network, Seinfeld, Pokemon, a brief history of Pixar, Japanese computer games, and a lot of other fun, fantastic, and amazing stuff.
“It was really unclear at first what was even happening. Because, you know, it is an open mic and it’s a performance,” the shop’s co-owner Rhonda Ealy told local television station KTVZ. “People at first thought it was some sort of theatre.”
I came across comedian Owen Benjamin in a very weird way recently. A guy on twitter started following me who is friends with Benjamin. Which is how I found Benjamin’s site and eventually came across his documentary, 60 Minutes, 7 Days.
If you’re a fan of comedy, this is a must see documentary. The premise is that Benjamin tries to write 60 minutes of show-ready material in 7 days – which, if you didn’t know, is pretty darn insane of a goal to hit.
A lot of the documentary is narration. Some of it is kind of weird. But it takes you into the mind of a writer and comedian: who Benjamin is and what it’s like to turn horrible material into something people will laugh at. I love it.
I eventually realized that a friend had recommended Benjamin’s podcast, Why Didn’t They Laugh, to me before. I’ve only listened to one episode of it so far, but I absolutely love it too. It breaks down comedy and quite literally offers answers to why certain jokes don’t work. It’s an analytical approach to comedy, but it’s also a really fun show.
Both the doc and podcast are fantastic if you ask me – Owen Benjamin has a new fan!
A comedian friend posted this on Facebook saying that he’d seen it a few times before, but that looking at his bank account balance while sleeping on the couch made him remember it.
Here’s why I’m not a sad computer programmer, for instance:
Realize that sleeping on a futon when you’re 30 is not the worst thing. You know what’s worse, sleeping in a king bed next to a wife you’re not really in love with but for some reason you married, and you got a couple kids, and a job you hate. You’ll be laying there fantasizing about sleeping on a futon. There’s no risk when you go after a dream. There’s a tremendous amount of risk to playing it safe.
As a lot of conversations among comedians start, I was on the train with my friend Mark. I asked him if he’d seen Master of None (MoN) on Netflix yet. He said, “Yeah! I thought it was awful – I couldn’t watch past the first episode.” And of course I was like, “What?! That’s crazy! I think it’s awesome!”
I lied: his real name isn’t Mark. Way to lose the reader’s trust 15 seconds in.