Here’s the last of my wandering thoughts about comedy (for now at least).
My least favorite thing about comedy is when it’s mean.
And I know that sentence probably makes me sound really boring, or like a prude, or something bad. I don’t think comedy should have limitations. (I don’t think anything should be off-limits.)
And I don’t think things have to be rated G to be funny. It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia is a hilarious show (even though the characters on the show may be thought of as “mean”).
And it’s weird, because I don’t know how to describe what I mean by “I don’t love mean comedy.”
I guess maybe what I’m trying to say is sometimes when I see stand-up comedy, it can feel a little attack-y. Or even some vines or things seem a little mean-spirited. Maybe you watch or read something and think, “Oh someone is SO being subvined/subtweeted/sub-whatevered there.
And I get that many comedians share their life. That’s a way to deal with things going on. And when you’re not calling anyone out by name, I guess it’s fine…
But is it? I have a small story about a guy I’ve run into on the bus in three different parts of LA. And it’s weird. And even though no one knows who he is (I don’t even know his name!), I would be a little nervous about telling a story about him in a comedy club. What if he’s there (so ridiculously unlikely)? Still, I hate the idea of anyone feeling bad about a weird interaction.
I mean, I don’t know! I don’t know where the line is on any of this. But I think I’m kind of veering off the subject here. The point is:
I enjoy comedy. I enjoy it being part of my life. When I think about the kind of funny person I want to be, I start to ask myself if it’s possible to make comedy that’s super, funny but also super nice.
And it is. Thomas Sanders is super famous on Vine, and I’ve never seen a vine of his that makes me feel like he’s being mean to anyone (or any class of people). I’ve never seen him make a lowest common denominator-type joke. And he is beloved! (I have a Thomas Sanders fanders t-shirt!) Most importantly, he’s super funny!
Josh Gondelman is an example of a stand-up who’s hilarious! …I guess I can’t really say that ’cause I haven’t seen his act. But his twitter kills me, and I love him on podcasts, and he writes for one of my favorite shows.
Jimmy Fallon is a great example of a super positive, super-nice comedian – and can always find a way to keep things super positive and fun no matter whom he’s with! That’s a super impressive skill.
There are plenty of comedians to point to who are super nice and super funny.
(Side note though: There’s actually a comedy writer who runs my favorite blog. (Even though he technically said he was retiring from blogging, we still get new posts sometimes.) And I suppose he’s sort of “mean” sometimes to certain companies or people. And I don’t know if he’s because we share so many opinions, or because I’ve been reading his stuff for years, but I love his blog. So this idea that I can only like “nice” comedy is obviously not completely true. So I guess maybe I have no idea what I’m saying… Maybe we need both “nicer” and “meaner” comedy depending on our mood. I know nothing!)
The only thing I know is in my comedy journey, I would love to try to be one of those super nice funny people. And it’s not because I’m a woman and I don’t think I’m “allowed” to be “edgy” or whatever. That’s just the kind of comedy that I feel good doing. So, that’s what I want to strive for… But as I continue on with my 52 performances in 52 weeks, I’d love to try stand-up sometime. And I guess we’ll see what kind of comedian I am (if any kind at all).