First, since we’ve talked about Eric Andre and awkward comedy, enjoy this video of Eric Andre and Larry King, someone who seems to KIND OF get his humor but also NOT get it.
The Krefting article about Hari Kondabolu was interesting, and I liked that it connected multiple ideas and readings and videos we’ve studied this semester. Hari Kondabolu uses “Manoj” to tell the jokes people assume he’ll tell, to tell the jokes he sees other people telling, exploiting who they are and the groups they are a part of to tell the jokes that people think they are safe to laugh at because they are in a physical place where they’re supposed to laugh. This reminded me of comments I’ve seen on YouTube videos of female comedians where people frequently comment on the fact that a female comedian is making jokes about something BESIDES being a female comedian and it made me think: is that surprise what we’re reduced to because female comedians joking about being female comedians is something that they KNOW they can get laughs at? Kondabolu’s “Manoj” character also reminded me of a Twitter thread that Kal Penn did about roles he was suggested or auditioned for his first few years of acting – you can find the thread HERE: https://twitter.com/kalpenn/status/841691178902904833. It’s awkward to read those descriptions now but it’s also not that surprising, which I think begs the question of us: where do we move past awkward and into something worse?
I enjoyed – and also wanted to learn more about what other people think about this article/phenomenon and how they think it related to our studies – the McAndrew clown article. I had my interpretation and wanted to know more about what OTHER people thought; TELL ME WHAT YOU THOUGHT. This entire phenomenon has cycled to me between funny and scary with an entire layer of ‘WEIRD’ spread over the top. I’ve never had a fear of clowns (which may come from having never been to a circus AND the fact that my mother did clowning for a while when I was a child) but the clowns I think take a potentially funny phenomenon into something awkward and beyond awkward. Clowns in general are funny to us and fun, seeing them in places you wouldn’t expect is funny with approaching awkward, or awkward with approaching funny, but when they did the whole thing of hiding in dark alleys – or in the rural midwest, in ditches and corn fields – it became so uncomfortable that it moved beyond awkward and into fear, horror, or disgust. I think this relates at least partially to the heckler that we’ve referenced and looked at this week in that there are times where the heckler is not hiding in a dark alley but they’re hiding in a dark crowd, but there’s that threat of them coming out of the crowd and becoming a physical character. While if we run into a clown in a dark alley, we’re alone, but if we run into a heckler in a crowd, there are things that stand between us and the heckler. The Louis short about the heckler this week was interesting because it wasn’t what I expect when someone says ‘heckler’. I think of someone interrupting a comic, throwing them off, yelling something out, being rude, that kind of vein. That bit though showed me another perspective of what a heckler can be – someone that just is interrupting the flow of the night, not purposefully, just someone that thinks they’re right in a situation where they may not be. This caused me to think; what does a heckler look like/act like/appear to other people? Can we think of other people in life and NOT in comic situations that we can see as hecklers?