Monday, April 21, 2008

I Don't Care Who You Are, That There is Funny ...

Thanks to Larry the Cable Guy for the title.

Humor, as I have pointed out before, and I'm not the first to do so, is almost always at somebody's -- or some thing's expense. Almost always, somebody is the butt of the joke.

You don't think so, go over the ones that made you laugh out loud. Got one that wasn't making fun of somebody, pass it along. I collect them. (They'll all fit on the head of a pin, with room left over for a bunch of angels to dance ...)

Best stuff for me is when the teller makes fun of himself. Thus, a southern comedian talking about driving and getting pulled over by the Louisiana State Police: Cop swaggers up, looks at the guy. "You in a lot of trouble, boy. Here, take this ticket, and you write what I tell you ..."

Or the guy going to register to vote in Mississippi. Signs his name: X xx. Registrar says, "Well, okay, I know what X stands for, but what's with the two little xx's?"

And the guys says, "That stands for "M.D."

My best lawyer jokes come from lawyers; best doctor jokes from doctors; best actor, agent, producer jokes from among their number, too.

Politically-incorrect humor can be stretched too far, and when it steps over the line and is simply cruel, it commits the cardinal sin in comedy: It isn't funny. But one of my favorite panel cartoons, in, I recall Writer's Digest, is from years back. It was the last of three in a series, a racist toon, a sexist one, and a racist/sexist toon combo. This was the title over the toon -- a"A Racist, Sexist Cartoon."

This last one shows a white man in black face makeup kneeling on a stage, hands clutched to his belly, in obvious pain. And the caption is:

"Pre-minstrel cramps ..."

It was less a truly racist or sexist dig than it was a play on words. I laughed, what can I say?

(I don't watch South Park because for me, it's puerile. But I do like Futurama. Anybody can do fart jokes, but clever writing gets me every time. But, it's different strokes for different folks ...)


Todd Erven said...

Futurama is one of my favorite shows. I find that many people are too quick to dismiss it.

Mark Jones said...

Same here. When Cartoon Network was running Futurama twice a night at 11 and 11:30, they had me as a regular viewer every weeknight--even though I own the series on DVD. It was just too good to pass up, and way funnier (even on repeated viewings) than the first half of Letterman or Leno.

steve-vh said...

"You in a lot of trouble, boy"
Sounds just like my buddy telling about his childhood in Missisippi.

"looks like you got a few taillights out, boy!"

Steve Perry said...

Always got to be a low man on the totem pole, or as the Rolling Stones probably should have said, everybody needs somebody we can pee on ...

In Louisiana, as illiterate and ignorant as we were, we always felt that, well, you know, things are bad, but at least we ain't Mississippi, where you could still own slaves, according to state law ...

Of course, people in Mississippi felt the same way about us ...