Wednesday, May 31, 2017

It really is all about the LOLZ

"What did you say to me, motherf...?"
It's been more than two years since I started doing stand-up comedy and I've already learned a lot and continue to do so. One of the things I've learned is that comedians are generally good people who will gladly help others with whatever when asked. I've also learned that many of those good people are also kinda full of shit about it in public.
There's a stereotype about comics being moody and dark and brooding because they're so deeply troubled and the comedy is merely an overcompensating coping mechanism to deal with all the blibbity blabbity scarring and hurt. Sure, a lot of comics, maybe most, get some necessary therapeutic value from writing and performing. But the scowling misanthrope who hates everything is mostly an affected cliche.
Writing "Dark Knight Returns" checks on a "Batusi" bank account
There's a group on Facebook called "Comedians Helping Comedians" and here are some samples of "advice" given to someone asking a question about being perceived as 'too mean' on stage by someone in the audience...

  • "Be meaner"
  • "I smile and nod. Then say "excuse me, I hear a beer calling my name" and walk away laughing."
  • "It sounds like you're mean."
  • "I'd just say "thanks for coming, I'm probably not your type of comic" and walk away."
  • "I complain to them about how sensitive they are"
  • "Sorry you didn't like it, but I know I'm not everyone's cup of tea. Besides, I treat the WHOLE audience the same."
  • "You can apologize, even if you don't mean it." (this one was mine)
  • "Let them complain but were you mean and funny or just mean? If you're just mean then you're a bitch and not a comedian."
  • "Say "Thank you!" and tell them you've never been so flattered, then try to give them a hug, sign an autograph and take a selfie with them. If that's part of your stage persona, own it."
  • "Kidnap them, take them to a damp basement, tie them to a chair, shine a light in their eyes and repeat the joke till they get it."
  • "I follow them to their car and press my asshole against their windshield."
  • "Tell them to fuck off."
  • "I told them to suck my dick...They had nothin to say after that...I can be mean..."

Wow, what gritty, edgy and unhelpful (with the exception of mine) responses! Don't mess with those guys! Also, what a crock. I don't know any of these people (they're not local) but I know for a fact that not one of them would respond with a "fuck you" or something along those lines in reality. At least not if they're actually funny and/or a professional who wants to stay that way. And that's because in spite of how cool and aloof and prickly we think we want to come off, we're actually a lot more warm and fuzzy than we are sour and hard-boiled. Most of us are like Russell Howard here...

Yeah, there are comics who fantasize about saying "fuck you" to somebody in their audience. But there are a lot more who would rather have a story like this to tell.
And that's because it really is all about the LOLZ.

1 comment:

Jeff Hickmott said...

So glad you're a Russell Howard fan, Clark! We love him in this house!