May 2011

Silly Comedy

And Why I Don't Like It

I need to talk a little about comedy today. I am a fan of all of it. I watch and absorb as much as I can. As a comedy writer I feel it’s my duty to check out every new trend in comedy and read the tea leaves and see where comedy is headed. Except I have one little problem. I can’t stand silly comedy. I don’t know what it is just something about does not connect with me. Even more so it tends to rub me the wrong way to the point where I actively dislike silly shows and films.

Bridesmaids is a Must-See For Pretty Much Everyone

When my sisters asked me to go see Bridesmaids with them, I wasn’t really into the idea. I had heard about one negative review (I don’t even remember where, and that tells you enough about how much cred it has), and it looked like one of many raunchy movies that I just would never enjoy. When my peers where into the American Pie movies, for example, my favorites at the time were The English Patient and The Silence of the Lambs. Call me morbid, but as much as I can’t stand the kind of drama that goes on in high schools, I really love my movie drama.

What's Wrong With Comedy & How to Fix It Part 2

Go to What's Wrong With Comedy & How to Fix It Part 1

 

The next problem I view in comedy is not getting down on the page. With the rise of improv in movies we have seen comedies with some good ideas never get off the launching pad. They mostly stumble around looking for the laugh. One of the major problems that I see especially in the smaller world of web comedies; is that people think they can just show up on set and improv a really great scene let alone a whole movie. Yes, some people have been able to do it.

The first thing you have to ask yourself are you as good as Larry David, Christopher Guest, or Sacha Baron Cohen.

What's Wrong With Comedy & How to Fix It Part 1

What ever happened to written comedy? Is there such a thing as well written comedic scripts anymore in films? Every new comedy is I see seems tethered by the same problem. It’s either a great cool concept that in the end becomes poorly executed. Or it’s a great comedy with some heart that ends up being weighed down by countless improvisation and interminable scenes.

Can anyone do a complete comedy? Or is it most likely a decent movie with some really funny scenes. As a comedy writer this saddens me. I don’t want this to sound like an attack on improv in comedy because that isn’t the whole problem.