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 ...
I don’t know, I start to hear the same things from him. I don’t find him that funny anymore. I think he just has a “repetoire” and banks off that.
Uptown at the Peppermint Lounge we would Twist all night!
Those were the days!!
Not only that, Steve Martin plays perty tollerable bajer too! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhenZCbUb_g&feature=related
Ha! I misspelled my own misspelling. bajer=banjer
A lot of it depends on where Bruce was in his self destructive arc. There was a time (maybe a year) before the drugs started eating his brain and when he was only interested in politics rather than obsessed when Bruce was probably the funniest guy to ever walk the planet. Before then he was still working no his craft and was edgy enough that imperfect was downright bad, and after then he was on a downward spiral where nobody can be funny. But for that year or so he redefined stand up, which of course is why he’s so revered, most modern comics have built their careers trying to emulate that year.
Smoker: “Do you mind if I smoke?”
Steve: “I dunno. Mind if I f**t?
“I tried to give it up once years ago, but I gained a lot of weight....”
“They have a special section for us now on airplanes!”
“You know, after sex I really like to ‘light one up.’”
Family Guy is right. I’ve never found Williams to be the least bit funny.
Maybe, maybe not. Nobody figured it out before Lenny. And really as much as they try few have come close since.
It’s a shame they pulled the King Tut video from youtube. THAT was funny.
Thanks for posting this! Martin is amazing. His version of Cyrano, “Roxanne,” was terrific.
I found him slightly funny... on Mork & Mindy... in 1981... when I was six years old.
I do think Williams is a fairly good actor. I’ve seen him in several movies where he did a good job. But as a comedian, I’ve missed the boat on him.
He’s funniest when appearing on Leno or Letterman or some such, being interviewed and talking off the top of his head. He has me laughing every time.
His movies are just so-so, though they do show his range.
But his greatest skills are shown in normal conversations with people. That’s the amazing part....he’s just hysterical. No one can top him, not even Jonathan Winters.
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