Writing a joke is a tricky thing. Sometimes a joke comes to you fully formed, perfect, and complete. Most times it comes in the form of a garbled premise; you know there is something there and after weeks or in some cases years of bending, shaping, and wrestling with the idea, the jokes is pulled into shape. It is an experience that is as frustrating as it is rewarding once you have the finished product.
Beyond artistic achievement and the satisfaction that comes with crafting a new joke, there is also a pragmatic and financial benefit. New jokes mean that when you revisit a town you were in 6 [...]
The Benny Hill Show towered over even Monty Python in terms of worldwide appeal and popularity in its hey day, which is just astounding. However, history rewards the victors and while Monty Python looms large over sketch comedy even today, Benny Hill has been reduced to a curious footnote in comedy history. While both share an enthusiasm for absurdity, Monty Python’s sketches often featured a healthy dose of cerebral satire buried within the anarchic foolishness. Hill, however, strikes modern viewers as broad and cartoonish, avoiding subtly altogether.
Make no mistake; Benny Hill was a huge comedic presence for twenty years (1969-1989) during the run of his titular The Benny [...]
When I have children, I'll sit them on my lap and explain to them that when I was their age we had an expression about a piece of art that was not to our liking. That expression was, “not my cup of tea.” I'll explain to them that this expression was used when talking about a piece of art that, despite its pedigree and achievement, was simply not to a person’s liking. This phrase will seem very alien to my children since they will have been brought up exclusively in the Internet age. Today, there are two absolute ways to voice your opinion about a piece of art and [...]
During the comedy boom of the late 1980’s and early 1990’s Rosie O’Donnell was one of the fastest rising stars in the New York standup scene. At the time, there were half-hour comedy shows on just about every cable network, and O’Donnell appeared on just about every one of them. In fact, she would go on to replace comedian Bobby Collins as host for VH1’s foray into the stand-up business, unimaginatively titled Vh1’s Standup Spotlight.
However in the intervening years O’Donnell’s reputation as a comic has receded to a point that younger readers may even be surprised to hear she ever did standup at all. This may be because, [...]
In 2010, Forbes ran a story about the ten highest paid comedians in the country and at the top of that list was ventriloquist Jeff Dunham. Through television specials, merchandise, and a rigorous touring schedule, Dunham had reached the top of his profession. Dunham is now a household name and a huge draw that sells out stadiums throughout the world.
That’s right, stadiums. Tickets for an upcoming show at the Tampa Bay Times Forum (the home stadium for the Tampa Bay Lightning) start at $90. Jeff Dunham not only plays these places, but tickets frequently sell out and they are not sold for a small amount of money. Dunham’s [...]