Monday, August 25, 2008

For A Laugh

I cannot recall the last time I watched an entire stand-up comedy show on television. You know the likes of Richard Pryor, Lee Evans, Bill Cosby, Billy Connolly, Jack Dee or whoever. Now on one really wacky outing I purchased a Robin Williams stand-up routine on DVD. That was years ago and not too long after I gave it away. I remember back a few years and a friend treated me to go to a theatre and watch Harry Hill and that was good.

One of my good friends at the moment is
Andy Kind who is a stand-up comedian by trade – and a good one as far as I know. I admire stand-up comedians and one of my current heroes looks to them as almost modern day prophets who can actually convey a lot of observational truth on the state of the world.

Tonight for the first time in a long time I sat through a stand-up routine –
Chris Rock: Never Scared. Chris Rock is not Richard Pryor or Eddie Murphy or Bill Cosby. I can see why he’s so popular and highly rated, he’s a clever guy. I didn’t find what he did laugh out loud hilarious and watched on with some bemusement as to how the audience was ‘rolling in the aisles’ at the material. I guess my American cousins would wander why I find some of the stuff I find so hilarious that way. For all that I understood why it was funny and yet beyond that I saw how the material when you scratched the surface and sometimes raw on the surface was social and political commentary that was thought provoking as well as humorous.

I still need to understand why there’s a need for such a propensity to profanity. There’s something as well about the return to sex-related jokes that seems to always be a winner. Talk about basic instincts – it’s as though because it’s so raw and so close to home and so in touch with the human experience that it’s the easiest thing to get a laugh out of. Right there with the profanity and the vulgar there’s a reference to sex and violence that depicts a lot of society and cannot ever be addressed without the push to make us laugh about it.

I don’t want to have to filter so much rubbish to get the gems from such a performance. I would love to see people just being creative without having to hit those marks. I would love to admire the cleverness of these men and actually take a journey that’s positive and life-affirming and building, possibly towards the heart of the gospel and kingdom living. I understand that because of the way of the world this may not be that likely, but that’s why I pray for comedians like Andy Kind and his mate Tony Vino, so that they can push through some light in the dark world of comedy.

Isn’t it ironic that something that produces a reaction that should leave us feeling better about ourselves, something that is so appealing in a child – laughter – isn’t actually used as a medicine to heal but a method to make us laugh at how ridiculous life really is. When I read about laughter being a good medicine and contrast it with what it takes to make people laugh today I so long for people to enjoy the real fullness of joy to be found in God’s presence where you can have a laugh and it’s at no one’s expense, but for everyone’s uplifting.

For His Name's Sake
da man cd

2 comments: said...

I've heard that the Book Of Revelation is a real rib tickler of a read. said...

Frank Skinner did an experiment where he cut out the swear words from his set. This below should be a link to his interview about it: