A sketch about a popular primetime dating show, featuring David Spade? Meh. That was my initial reaction. “Meh.” In fact, someone emailed me this video on Monday and I just ignored it. Couldn’t be bothered to watch. Why would I waste my time? I’d seen it all before. Some Just Shoot Me sass mixed in with a little Grown Ups past-prime sadness, all topped with a sprinkling of really safe jabs about Bachelor contestants being “desperate whores,” and so on. Ultimately a trusted source convinced me to give it a shot and though my snap judgments weren’t inaccurate, their being true didn’t make this not funny. In fact, it’s good for all the reasons I thought it wouldn’t be.
As a comedy nerd, I’ve been conditioned to always look for the not-so-obvious joke, the one that really makes audiences think. I’ve also become a big fan of situations that are ultra-original, sometimes verging on post-humor in their off-beatness. This means I generally don’t like celebrity impersonation sketches (“Celebrity Jeopardy” notwithstanding) or very straight, cut and dry TV show parodies. But I think I used to.
Before I became a big, glasses-wearing laugh snob, I cracked up at things because I could immediately identify why they were funny. I didn’t have to work. Everything didn’t have to to be edgy. I could just sit back and enjoy. Comedies of the 90s gave me this fuzzy feeling. The Happy Gilmores, the American Pies, the Tommy Boys and Black Sheeps. Part of it might be that my birthday is coming up again and I’m feeling like my life is slipping away from me. Regardless, this video made me feel nostalgic in the best sense. More, it made me realize that lots of what used to be funny to me still is.
Here are three reasons to join me in lowering my “highbrow comedy prick” flag.
- Smart editing: No matter how many times it’s done, popping perfectly edited real footage into a parody is usually a surefire road to viral town.
- Quick dirty jokes: You’ll probably see them coming, and you’ll laugh anyway dammit. Not everything has to be understated. Sometimes everyone needs a good old-fashioned tit joke.
- Celeb factor: So he hasn’t made the best career choices. Fine. David Spade is still talented and famous and funnier than a whole lot of people.