As I watched the SNL homage to Rodney Dangerfield last night, I sadly realized that my revelation about American comedy was truer than I believed it to be. First of all, I'm watching SNL now in hope that something good will arise, but knowing fully well that it won't. It's like one of those operating shows on the Discovery Health channel. Sure, you don't want to look, but sometimes you still take a peek and gross yourself out as a consequence.
Anyway, as "Rodney" cracked some of his classic one-liners, I heard only a couple in the audience who were laughing. I cried at the end of the sketch, not because I'm an enormous Dangerfield fan, but because I realized how we lost a legend, and how horrible it is that comedy has been dumbed down into complete obviousness and repeated current pop culture references. I know that as a whole the American population has no attention span, and thinks that the greater things in life are not free, but come on. Mainstream comedy sometimes blows my mind. If you take a look at the movies and comedy of the 70's, when SNL first came out, you notice that things were a bit more subtle. Even into the 80's and early 90's, SNL wasn't horrible. Hmm, why? Because the comedians gave it their all. They were these larger than life chameleons who performed every show like it was their last.
SNL was also aimed at a broader audience, not just at stupid teenagers, as it is now. I'm not saying that every thing in the 70's was more subtle and sophisticated, but you get my point. Comedy on television was more of an artform and more effort was put into it by both the performers and the writers than it is now. The performers on SNL even came up with their OWN IDEAS. Now fart jokes reign supreme. God forbid we have to THINK at all when being entertained. Personally, the best jokes are the ones that you get after the comedian says them. I think that I could write better than the SNL writers do, but then again, maybe I'm just elitist like Dan is with music. I think we're justified in some of our reasoning.
One more thing, and the most irritating of all: laugh tracks. There's a concept! If the show is not funny, maybe adding an "audience" will provoke laughter and our ratings will be better! The sad thing is that it works. It's like a diluted brainwashing for the masses. I find the shows WITHOUT them funnier on the most part, but maybe it's because these shows put more effort into the content and don't NEED to demand when to laugh. Maybe it's because I see through the bullshit that most of TV sitcoms serve to their audiences. Some of those shows are good for a laugh or two, but after awhile, it gets a bit redundant...along with the obnoxious laugh track. I'm not saying this about ALL shows with laugh tracks, because I think there are, I don't know, 2 exceptions that I can think of at the moment.
You know what? Maybe I should to move to England just to escape this kind of garbage.
Anyway, I'm done ranting. It took my mind off of how everything as a whole is just...not. Think about that one for awhile kids.
*Audience laughs and applauds hysterically*