Anyone could sit for ten minutes and think up the perfectly funny Kate Middleton tweet; Twitter comedy is, now don’t hate me for saying it, pretty lazy when it comes down to it all. I mean, tweets don’t take that much effort to think up (though I do admire those who have mastered the art of the 140 character wit, and still do love myself a terribly amazing pun every now and then.) Plus, no one even sees these people, as they lay makeupless, naked on their couch scrolling through Twitter chuckling every so often while eating a beef jerky stick.
But how many of these “comedians” do you think could get up there on stage, all by their lonesome, and make an entire crowd of people laugh uncontrollably? Probably not too many (though I’m not doubting over 50% could, and a lot already do.) But let’s face it: stand up comedy is hard; stand up comedy is definitely not Twitter comedy. It takes a special, funny person to get up there and make a live audience laugh out loud.
And they do, no doubt; we’ve seen it. But as things evolve and more and more comedians start to appear, we have to ask ourselves: are comedians really getting themselves out there by performing to 25 people their age, their race, that are mostly close friends and a lot of times other comedians? Maybe, but in the longrun that’s not what’s going to get them remembered. To be one of the greats, a standup comedian must make everybody laugh. Which is not the case anymore, according to Chris Rock in a response to an e-mail interview with Vanity Fair.
“Show me one guy or woman as funny as Rodney Dangerfield or as good as George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby, or Joan Rivers. There are a lot of good comics out there, no doubt, but as far as the quality of the comics goes, I think what you have is a bunch of situational comics. What we have now is black comics that work only black crowds, gay comics that do only gay crowds, and southern comics that only work down South, and so on with Asian, Latino, Indian, midgets, etc. The previous generation’s comics were better because they had to make everybody laugh. Richard Pryor could do The Ed Sullivan Show and play the Apollo. Seinfeld can work any crowd. Ellen can work any crowd. Lopez can work any crowd. And a few more, but the rest of them are just situational comics.”
Aka: COMEDIANS, step your game up! This ain’t Twitter, yo.