Skip to comments.Being Funny
Posted on 02/20/2008 9:09:52 AM PST by ventanax5
In the late 1960s, comedy was in transition. The older school told jokes and stories, punctuated with the drummer's rimshot. Of the new school, Bill Cosbyone of the first to tell stories you actually believed were trueand Bob Newhartwho startled everyone with innovative, low-key delivery and original materialhad achieved icon status. Mort Sahl tweaked both sides of the political fence with his college-prof delivery. George Carlin and Richard Pryor, though very funny, were still a few years away from their final artistic breakthroughs. Lenny Bruce had died several years earlier, fighting both the system and drugs, and his work was already in revival because of his caustic brilliance that made authority nervous. Vietnam, the first televised war, split the country, and one's left or right bent could be recognized by haircuts and clothes. The country was angry, and so was comedy, which was addressed to insiders. Cheech and Chong spoke to the expanding underground by rolling the world's largest doobie on film. There were exceptions: Don Rickles seemed to glide over the generation gap with killer appearances on "The Tonight Show," and Johnny Carson remained a gentle satirist while maintaining a nice glossary of naughty-boy breast jokes. Tim Conway and Harvey Korman, two great comic sketch actors working for the affable genius Carol Burnett, were deeply funny. The television free-for-all called "Laugh-In" kept its sense of joy, thanks in part to Goldie Hawn's unabashed goofiness and producer George Schlatter's perceptive use of her screw-ups, but even that show had high political content. In general, however, a comedian in shackles for indecent language, or a singer's arrest for obscene gestures, thrilled the growing underground audience. Silliness was just not appropriate for hip culture. It was this circumstance that set the stage for my success eight years later
(Excerpt) Read more at smithsonianmag.com ...
LOL! Very interesting article.
He and Robin Williams came out around the same time. Steve and Robin both were very funny. But now, only Steve remains so. It’s amazing how jumping head first into political “humor” can kill a career. Steve avoided such blunders. Thanks for all the laughs, Mr. Martin.
They too will be thrown on the ash heap of History by the left. (Too violent! Poor role model for Yutes!)
(But I'll still have my Stooges DVD's!)
great article. steve martin was at his best in the ‘70’s. saturday night live, stand-up and the jerk. he seems to retain a sense of humor about himself as well. i would rate him high on the list of people i would like to sit down, drink a beer, and talk to.
Steve is one smart dude.
“Some people ask me, Steve, how can you be so f***ing funny? I tell them when I get up in the morning I put a piece of bologna in my shoes so I ‘feel’ funny.” - Steve Martin
Family Guy did a great Robin Williams spoof (about how horribly unfully he is).
Lenny Bruce. (Yawn!)
I really appreciated this auto-biographical article describing the genesis and cultivation of his comedy talent. I never understood.
Much of it is from his recent book, “Born Standing Up” which I heartily reccomend.
One of my very favorite movies. There aren't a lot of movies about love from the male point of view and that's one of the few great ones.
Thanks for the post. I remember so many of Steve Martin’s comedy bits from when I was growing up, and often parrot them back to my teenage son. For instance, sometimes he will start to say something but forget what he was going to say, and I’ll say “Oh, well it must not have been very important or you wouldn’t have forgotten it; ha ha ha. Oh, now I remember, I’m radioactive! Shake!” And he just looks at me dumbly and asks “are you imitating Aunt Laurie?” I guess my sister was influenced by Steve’s humor too.
lol! in my family it would be uncle tom (my brother, not the book)
“Another way to be funny is to show up late for a party and then turn all the bowls of food upside down. I did this at the last party I was invited to. Let’s see, that was about 6 years ago.”
He forgot “Brother Dave” Gardner...weird but funny
Robin Williams is absolutely the funniest person on earth. He’s the quickest on his feet, can take any conversation and have you laughing out loud.
As long as he keeps it clean, he’s my favorite. Otherwise, I turn the channel. But he is amazing.
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