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Picture of shufitz
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Tho picture claims 2021, Ogden Nash's poem below claims much earlier, and I very much agree.



Stranger, ignore yon loud bassoon
And harken, ere thou departest,
To the plaintive notes of a minor tune,
The wail of the comic artist.
The shadows lengthen across his career,
Each day is a new conundrum,
As the winged horses of yesteryear
Are progressively shot from under him.

His predecessors had ready themes,
Dependable, sturdy stanchions,
And they never foresaw in their direst dreams
The birth of a social conscience.
A permanent company they employed
Of dramatis personae;
There were Abie and Ike, and Pat and Mike,
And Rasta, Ole and Tony.

But the humor that once raised mirthful whoops
Grew more and more precarious;
The facetious baiting of minor groups
Seemed less and less hilarious.
So the artist discarded the racial joke,
And packed it away in camphor,
And assembled a lot of risible folk
That nobody gives a damn for.

There’s the couple marooned on the desert isle
With a caption fairly risqué
And the portly sultan with lecherous smile
And entourage odalisqué.
The fakir complete with his bag of tricks,
The witch doctor, his cousin-german,
The felon reviewing his awkward fix,
And.the khan on the flying Kirman.

So far, so good, but the world is filled
With sensitive true believers.
There may come a complaint from the Sultan’s Guild
Or the Magic Carpet Weavers.
How long can the ink-stained wretch rely
On his file of new side-splitters,
In the face off a logical outraged cry
From the Union of Counterfeiters?

Stranger, the wedding feast is done.
But linger, ere thou departest,
To murmur a prayer, just a little one
For the soul of the comic artist.
May he sit secure on a laughing star
And lampoon, on heavenly ceilings
The saints, who so superior are
That nothing can hurt their feelings.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: shufitz,
 
Posts: 2666 | Location: Chicago, IL USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
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Ah, me. Sad, and too true. The Borscht Belt hasn't been the same ever since. And even before. Grossinger's is gone. The Concord is gone. The Nevele is gone. Profanity and vulgarity have taken the place of humor. Alles ist hin. Augustine liegt im Dreck.

Shu, if you could be so kind as to take a look at the Limerick page (before I reveal the perpetraters), your thoughts about our York efforts would be appreciated.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: haberdasher,
 
Posts: 6267 | Location: Worcester, MA, USReply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of BobHale
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It's a funny cartoon and a funny poem but I tend to disagree with the premise. I don't think comedy is any less funny than it ever was. It's what I think of as the "Shakespeare" paradox. When Shakespeare was alive he was one of hundreds, possibly thousands, of people writing and producing plays. He happens to be the one that we remember that rose to the top and stayed there. Of the others some are remembered though considered lesser and the vast majority are forgotten. Among those forgotten ones will be many that were outright terrible. Similarly when we look back on the comedy of our youth (lets face it all of us here are getting on in years a bit) we remember the greats but we forget that there were a lot of terrible series and comedians too. I am not talking about the ones that are remembered but not in sync with modern sensibilities (in the UK such things as Love Thy Neighbour or Mind Your Language) or even the ones that were failed vehicles for well known comedians (for example Sorry). I am talking about the ones you simply don't remember at all. There is a you tube channel called The Foot of Our Stairs that had a project discussing pretty much all of them.) When we say that modern comedy isn't as funny we are not taking into account that in twenty years time we will be remembering only the examples that are funny and forgetting the ones that aren't funny. We are making an unfair comparison. We are comparing the absolute best of the past with the totality - good and bad - of the present.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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I suppose that's true, Bob. However, I look at the comedy on TV. To me, it has gone downhill precipitously. They used to have funny sitcoms, like Friends or Frasier, that people would watch every week, talk about at school or work, and couldn't wait to see how the year would end and then to predict what would happen next year. Articles would be written about it. None of that happens now.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
I suppose that's true, Bob. However, I look at the comedy on TV. To me, it has gone downhill precipitously. They used to have funny sitcoms, like Friends or Frasier, that people would watch every week, talk about at school or work, and couldn't wait to see how the year would end and then to predict what would happen next year. Articles would be written about it. None of that happens now.


You see personally I never found either Friends or Frasier very funny. For once it isn't a US/UK thing because I know many British people who rate both of them very highly but a sense of humour is very personal and they just didn't make me laugh. I don't know many current American sitcoms. The last one I watched was The Good Place which finished a couple of years ago and was, in my opinion, as good as any sitcom ever.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
Posts: 9421 | Location: EnglandReply With QuoteReport This Post
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Sue and I don't like sitcoms with laugh tracks. This ties in with Bob's post regarding the thickness of Americans. It seems many of us have to be goaded by someone in efect saying, "This is supposed to be funny, so laugh, you dolt!" M*A*S*H* had laugh tracks early on which ruined some genuinely funny scenes.
 
Posts: 6169 | Location: Muncie, IndianaReply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of BobHale
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quote:
Originally posted by Geoff:
Sue and I don't like sitcoms with laugh tracks. This ties in with Bob's post regarding the thickness of Americans. It seems many of us have to be goaded by someone in efect saying, "This is supposed to be funny, so laugh, you dolt!" M*A*S*H* had laugh tracks early on which ruined some genuinely funny scenes.


Just to clarify, I didn't post about "thick Americans". I posted about one specific thick American*. As for MASH I agree completely. I have somewhere a boxed set of MASH which has the option to watch it with or without the laugh track. I once tried, out of curiosity, to watch a couple of episodes with it turned on. It was awful. I found it completely unwatchable. Without the laugh track it is one of the best series ever made.

*If you want to see just how thick, his name is in the first post of the Is He Really Typical thread. Just stick it into Youtube and see how quickly you get irritated by him.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
Posts: 9421 | Location: EnglandReply With QuoteReport This Post
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