Friday, September 5, 2008

The Next Great Depression

I have always been a fan of comedy. I remember I was ten years old when the first comic I ever watched was Janeane Garofalo. I related to her sarcasm the most and at such a young age, I never saw a female portrayed like that and it was refreshing. She wasn’t blond or classically pretty or clucking on about boys and dating.
Since then, it’s been an intense hobby for me. Comedy Central, (at the time) showed hours upon hours of stand up every day of the week. It was absolute heaven to me. I watched everything! I remember first seeing all the comics we love today when they had their TV debuts: Lewis Black on Comedy Central Presents, Robert Kelly and Jim Norton on Premium Blend. Not to mention a slew of others that I still love to this day.
No one else knew more about comedy than me as a kid. I remember liking Dane Cook when he was good (and not shoving two of his fingers in every snapshot taken of him) and back then, no one knew who the fuck he was.Ugh… it was all downhill when I get to college and that stupid fucking super finger followed me into my nightmares...brainless fans.

Since I was a teen, I have known better: I don't think Carlos Mencia is edgy, nor do I think Dane Cook is a growing legend. I don’t think Jeff Dunham’s puppet act is one of a kind nor do I think Pablo Francisco should have a career! I’ve known that these are the thoughts and beliefs of those who do not know any better. They follow blindly and eat up what’s given to them. In a way, I can’t blame them.
Fast forward to now. I’m 22 and have been exposed to the real side of the comedy business for over a year. I’ve seen the “fancy” shows with the big names, the shitty open mics and everything in between. All of it is fucked. There’s just no better word for it. I don’t want this to become a forum for bashing New York City comics (quite honestly, I don’t need the trouble), but without using any names, let me just discuss how the quality has gone way down!

I know this has been touched on by other websites (fuck, how could it not? It’s the huge fucking unfunny elephant in the room), but seeing it firsthand has made me sick. Going to the former Laugh Factory and seeing some jackass (on more than several occasions!) do more time than he should be allowed; all about drinking and getting drunk. Twenty minutes on the stage at the famous Laugh Factory and all you have to say about life is getting drunk and not remembering anything? What the fuck are you contributing to the world? The next night I go and see some woman pontificate over nothing! Yeah, great, you use your breasts to attract men. Holy God! Someone call Montreal! Someone call HBO! We got an aspiring legend on our hands!
I disagree with *Patrick on one thing…the quality of comedy overall has gone done due to the comics themselves. At least that’s how I see it. No one is writing anymore and nowadays, people in general I think are just dumber and can’t form a real opinion of what good comedy is. Which just means anything will make them laugh. The comics who win me over write from their heart. They discuss what’s real to them and thus, we can relate to it because it’s something real to us. It hits a nerve with us. Isn't that the fucking point of comedy! Laughing over a subject brings people closer together. But, that’s not the case today. You can do a slightly accurate impression of Al Pacino? Boom! You’re featuring. You angrily discuss how women talk too much? Boom! You’re at Gotham.
With the quality going down coupled with the over-saturation of the market, people are getting a less-than-high quality product. Just like anything else that absorbs that lethal combination. You think McDonald’s were as unhealthy today as they were when they first opened up? No way. Back then customers got a real burger that wasn't slathered in chemicals. But, with competition, laziness, and the thrill and desire to scam more money out of people while spending the least amount, the quality of food went down. And just like McDonalds, New York City comics that are featuring in the city today makes me want to vomit.

*NOTE*: Inspired by Patrick's article about the lack of scrotums on bookers at Cringe Humor.

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