I’ve been sitting on these two videos for a while, not realizing that they totally go together. They are both about political correctness. So they go together. But they are opposing views. So I’m putting them together.
John Cleese thinks “we can’t have comedy and political correctness at the same time.”
Paul F. Tompkins thinks “political correctness keeps comedy fresh.”
There are more subtleties to their arguments than that. So, watch these videos because they are interesting and you’re a smart person who really likes watching interesting things! You can find more about the John Cleese video here. You can find a transcription of what Tompkins says in his video here. You can find nothing here.
I didn’t know what the big think (the people who made these videos) was before now, but it seems pretty cool. Here.
Remember Nick Vatterott? I posted about him a week or so ago. Well, I found this really cool site called Sketchpad Comedy which is focused on helping people with sketch comedy and is based in St. Louis. And, one of their first blog posts is an interview with Vatterott. And it’s pretty great.
It has a lot of great advice about how to get started writing and that sort of thing. It also has some awesome videos from Vatterott. One of those is the cold open sketch he wrote for the Critics’ Choice Awards (hosted by TJ Miller) and the other one is his Late NightWith Jimmy Fallon appearance. The sketch was awesome, but I was even more impressed by his tight 5. The set he put together for Fallon was so well put together and memorable that it makes me want to get way better! I’ve attached those videos below.
One great piece of advice that Vatterott shares in the interview is…
“Be prepared for the things that you want, so that when they come your way you’re ready for them. Don’t blow you’re chance to be seen by a club owner by getting an audition when your not ready, when your comedy is still hit or miss. Wait to get the audition when you’re killing on a regular basis. You don’t want to do an audition just crossing your fingers hoping you get it, you want to destroy and walk off the stage leaving them with no choice but to book you.”
I’m looking forward to more from Sketchpad! Seems like a fun site with good people.
Admittedly, my ignorant young self knows nothing about Carol Burnett. But, a comedian friend shared a quote of hers from this Hollywood Reporter interview that I thought was interesting:
“Today the suits say, “It’s got to be fast.” So I think some of the writing isn’t good anymore. Now sitcoms sound like they’ve been written by teenage boys in a locker room.”
I agree. TV writing today is just punchlines in a lot of shows, which to me gets old. That’s not how life works. Some of the best sketch writing builds up to a climax. A lot of great sketches or TV shows are more “thinkers” than laugh out loud funny and the pressure for have every second be funny to compete with people’s short attention span I see as detrimental.
Stand up writing is actually very similar in New York. Here, you gotta have punchline, punchline, punchline or else no one will listen to you. I think there’s a lot of great comedy that isn’t like that, so it’s nice to see someone else saying, “Slow down!”
I actually don’t think anything else in the interview is that interesting, but please do read it if that tickles your fancy. And then you’ll know just about as much about Carol Burnett as I do.
I just found this website called The Comedy Nerds and it’s a pretty darn cool little site dedicated to all different types of comedy. That’s right: stand up, sketch, improv – you name it. Seriously, name it. Okay, fine. Don’t.
So The Comedy Nerds has thousands of podcast episodes talking about everything comedy. On cool topics like “Were the 80’s the golden age of comedy movies?” I feel like I’ll spend a lot of time exploring the site.
If you haven’t noticed, I’ve added a “Things I Like” page to the site. Pretty self-explanatory. These are really just a bunch of links to things I like in the comedy world. Mostly great websites and stuff for people who are interested in comedy. Like, comedy nerds. This one’s been added to the list!
A year or so back, a friend told me about Mr. Show with Bob and David – that I should check out some grainy Youtube recording of it. I had never heard of the thing, but I knew of David Cross from Arrested Development and Bob Odenkirk from Breaking Bad. I just thought they were actors and never knew they did sketch. I thought they were both fantastic and so the existence of a Mr. Show blew my mind!
I did start watching that grainy Youtube video and I couldn’t stop. I watched Mr. Show for hours and it was unlike any other sketch show I’d seen. I had fun. But I was also extremely amazed and excited that anyone else actually enjoyed what Bob and David were doing.
I’m glad they’re back with five Neflix original episodes, W/ Bob & David. Watch the trailer. Also, Mr.Show on Youtube is below. Have fun.