Theory of comedy I

Much as I love spouting off on the politics, I won't fool myself -- I don't imagine I have anything of value to add, really, outside of my Red Tory instincts that we should massively increase government spending on Latin.

But I have worked in comedy for years so I think I should spout off more on that. So here's a Comedy Postulate:

Actors usually aren't funny until they're at least 25.

Sure, there's exceptions, and notice that I say "actors," not "standups." But I think one takes life very seriously in youth. Even writing a funny character at that age is a challenge if they're not drunks. We need a little mileage to break ourselves in, I think, to develop tendencies which we can then lampoon. Alan King used to say that comedy people had to be smart because you have to know what something is before you can know how to mock it. But that also applies to oneself, and self-knowledge is usually not given to the youthful, all their poems and songs to the contrary.

1 comment:

Lisa Simeone said...

Couldn't agree more.

Youth -- whaddatheyknow?! Bah.

Speaking of funny, we managed to miss The Larry Sanders Show when it was on, so are now watching it on DVD via Netflix. It is hilarious! The other night, the ever-wondrous Rip Torn delivered a line that had us laughing so hard we had to pause the thing so we wouldn't miss whatever came after. Talking to Garry Shandling's Larry, Torn says, "This is Hollywood. Everyone has two pricks and three assholes. It's a genitalia horn of plenty."


And his delivery! We were howling.

(Now why does Torn have to go and be a Republican?? I just don't get it.)