The Guy Earle case obliged me to read comedy sites like Laughspin, Mirth, the Comic’s Comic, Splitsider and Shecky.
Because like lots of folks, I was really baffled by the apparent reluctance of other comedians to rush to Earle’s side.
(When Shecky — the only really bearable, sane site of them all — defended Earle, they had to remove the original post because the comments became so toxic.)
Maybe because it is so hard for me to believe.
I often slag the careerist hack “conservative” bloggers of Canada who are basically just low tax liberals who don’t hate the army. They’ve bought into everything they were brainwashed about in school — multiculturalism, tolerance, official bilingualism, “free” “health” “care” — but just think they and their friends could run it better (and have nice secure jobs doing so.)
It’s been hard for me to accept that so many comedians are the same.
Can you imagine Lenny Bruce being brought to tears of joy upon learning that a fellow comic was gay?
Can you imagine other comedians approving of a Richard Pryor “apology tour”?
W. Kumau Bell makes some really good points about how comedians’ deaths are often preventable. While it may not change the realities of the job, awareness about these challenges in the comedy community can only help us avoid future losses.
What are comics? A bunch of f*cking pandas, now?
For me, everything is about class. And I can’t prove it, but I sense that this degeneration of “comedy” into altruistic, allergy-free, helmet-wearing, my-mom-drove-me-everywhere-in-the-minivan suckiness reflects a rush of overeducated middle class kiddies into the scene.
Oh, and girls.
All this After School Special “caring and sharing” is cleverly disguised in “edgy” hipster garb. The same people who’d snicker at Sally Jesse Raphael are kissing Marc Maron’s feet. If he didn’t look like, well, Marc Maron, and throw in the odd swear word, you’d all think he was a bad Phil Donohue imitation.
(You can see this when things get too edgy, like when he and Nick DiPaolo started trading hooker stories and the audience audibly froze.)
You’ll hear a lot of people spout the cliche that the comedy club is the last bastion of political incorrectness. It is when certain people are playing. But otherwise?
It’s basically your office — with its recycling bins and hypersensitive H.R. department and ban on perfume and “bring your brat to work” day — but with coasters.