Author Topic: Comedians You Like Not Making You Laugh  (Read 3481 times)

Lisa Jesusandmarychain

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Comedians You Like Not Making You Laugh
« on: October 05, 2021, 07:52:51 PM »
Sean Hughes- lovely, likeable lad, great taste in indie music,but  " Sean's Show" was terrible, the second series thereof being one of the worst things I've ever seen broadcast in the name of comedy. He wrote some bloody awful poetry for his " Sean's Book", too.

Stewart Lee- Again, GBOL, commendable taste in music, but he's been doing that " divide the room" schtick for far too long, and the stuff he writes for The Observer is fucking awful, probably deliberately so ; he also seems obsessed ( quite a lot in his writing, but it also features in his stand- up) with vomit, faeces and piss. You're not a Rabelaisian rabble- rouser, Stu, you just come across as a puerile, pretentious prick. You're in your mid- fifties now,  y'know, maybe try something a little more refined like that lovely routine about a man- drawer like that nice Michael Macintyre does?

Jerry Seinfeld- Great Sit- Com, Shit Stand-up.

Jim Davidson- Actually, upon reflection, still a * very* funny man.

madhair60

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Re: Comedians You Like Not Making You Laugh
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2021, 04:58:57 PM »
Dave Chappelle now that it's become extremely clear that he is, in fact, an incredibly stupid cunt

Magnum Valentino

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Re: Comedians You Like Not Making You Laugh
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2021, 05:08:45 PM »
What did he do

QDRPHNC

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Re: Comedians You Like Not Making You Laugh
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2021, 05:12:09 PM »
I remember loving Sean's Show when I was a teenager, but haven't seen it since then.

Saw Jerry Seinfeld live and he was brilliant. I have to admit, I'm a little mystified when people hate his stand up. I wonder if it is partly because what he does is pretty conservative - it's not provocative or meta - so people look down their nose at it a little bit.

Re: Comedians You Like Not Making You Laugh
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2021, 05:22:21 PM »

 the stuff he writes for The Observer is fucking awful, probably deliberately so

Oh God this. I assumed it was deliberate, but then he brought it out as a book. Who would buy that and enjoy it? I can't see it has any appeal to people who like his stand-up. It's apples and oranges or more accurately, comedy and "nothing at all".

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Re: Comedians You Like Not Making You Laugh
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2021, 01:34:19 AM »

AllisonSays

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Re: Comedians You Like Not Making You Laugh
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2021, 09:20:12 AM »
Those Stewart Lee columns deserve their own thread, really. Baffling.

Re: Comedians You Like Not Making You Laugh
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2021, 09:34:23 AM »
I love Stew, but his columns are a waste of time. I know he goes on about it being part of the imaginary other "Stewart Lee" persona, and they're bad on purpose or something, but they're just shit and it doesn't work. In all honesty it feels a bit more like an excuse to put out substandard work, like how Mark E Smith eventually turned his unpredictable behaviour on stage into a way to bugger off halfway through a gig and have a smoke in the car park.

icehaven

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Re: Comedians You Like Not Making You Laugh
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2021, 09:40:33 AM »
I love Lee too and have just started the book of his columns (never read them before) and was wondering why I couldn't really get into it. Maybe it's not me then.

Re: Comedians You Like Not Making You Laugh
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2021, 10:10:44 AM »
Saw Jerry Seinfeld live and he was brilliant. I have to admit, I'm a little mystified when people hate his stand up. I wonder if it is partly because what he does is pretty conservative - it's not provocative or meta - so people look down their nose at it a little bit.

I know what you mean. I've always loved his stand up but even fans of the show will use it as a stick to beat him with. Even if the material is basic and obvious he has an inherently funny delivery. I also saw him live (in 2012) and he was outstanding.

Magnum Valentino

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Re: Comedians You Like Not Making You Laugh
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2021, 11:26:42 AM »
I know what you mean. I've always loved his stand up but even fans of the show will use it as a stick to beat him with. Even if the material is basic and obvious he has an inherently funny delivery. I also saw him live (in 2012) and he was outstanding.

Joining the defence pile-on (pile-off?)  - I have no issue with the standup segments in the show itself and the arguments that people make about it being bad on purpose are those of someone trying to explain to themselves why the don't love the thing they love one hundred percent - if you don't like it, you don't like it, it's grand, wise up - it's not a meta comment about the gulf between commercial standup and artistic integrity in an early 90s network sitcom for fuck sake.

As far as his long-form shows go, they're even better. I don't really properly understand any of the criticisms of Jerry's act as a way of explaining why it doesn't make you laugh. That he doesn't swear, that he makes obvious observations, that his material is hack? HACK?!

These are parroted opinions. Metal fans who don't care about production will say And Justice For All sucks because you can't hear the bass and then never discuss the bass on any album ever. Same thing with comedy nerds. Having a go at Jerry's standup seems to be some sort of reinforcement of the comedy fan credential that allows people to appreciate things better if they think others - the mainstream, their enemies, whoever? - don't 'get it. Like Youtube comments doing that thing of responding to a criticism with 'oh you'd be better off watching Michael McIntyre, maybe Jam is too much for you'.

Nebulous swirly but connected thoughts. Rant over.

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Re: Comedians You Like Not Making You Laugh
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2021, 12:39:20 PM »
I haven't revisited any of it, but with Gervais in terms of his standup, quite how he went from Animals and Politics to...that...is grim.

up_the_hampipe

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Re: Comedians You Like Not Making You Laugh
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2021, 01:12:07 PM »
Jerry Seinfeld is a highly respected comedian, amongst the public and his peers. But his style has been parodied so much that it has become laughable, so that works against him to some degree, but he also stinks. His material is so cynically designed, he comes at comedy like an alien studying what humans respond to, so he has this rigid structure just designed to hit beats and elicit a Pavlovian response. He doesn't respect audiences, and he doesn't really have a connection to his material. There are plenty of comedians who can make me laugh talking about the most uninteresting things, so the topics aren't a valid reason. He's also got this smugness that, for me, contradicts what is supposed to be a relatable and observational act.

Larry David better.

Re: Comedians You Like Not Making You Laugh
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2021, 03:15:42 PM »
Jerry Seinfeld is a highly respected comedian, amongst the public and his peers. But his style has been parodied so much that it has become laughable, so that works against him to some degree, but he also stinks. His material is so cynically designed, he comes at comedy like an alien studying what humans respond to, so he has this rigid structure just designed to hit beats and elicit a Pavlovian response. He doesn't respect audiences, and he doesn't really have a connection to his material. There are plenty of comedians who can make me laugh talking about the most uninteresting things, so the topics aren't a valid reason. He's also got this smugness that, for me, contradicts what is supposed to be a relatable and observational act.

Larry David better.

I've never seen Larry David do stand-up so I can't say who is better in my opinion, not that it matters. I've always seen the pair of them as one of the same, in the way you wouldn't pick a favourite child or a favourite John from They Might Be Giants.

You're right to point out that his style has been parodied a lot, damn it was even parodied in his own hit sitcom several times (with Jerry being the butt of the joke), but I see no cynicism in what he does at all. He has a comic persona that he played a version of in the show - a simple emotionally-stunted man who has never had to deal with anything bad in his life. His stand up reflects his obsession with little niggly things he witnesses or deals with in day-to-day life, because Jerry Seinfeld The Character doesn't have to deal with big issues. That's who he is (at least on stage), why does that mean he has no connection to the material?

Re: Comedians You Like Not Making You Laugh
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2021, 03:19:45 PM »
And Jerry Seinfeld The Character *is* smug, there is no contridiction at all. His life is easy, and he's very pleased with himself because of that.

An tSaoi

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Re: Comedians You Like Not Making You Laugh
« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2021, 03:29:12 PM »
the arguments that people make about it being bad on purpose are those of someone trying to explain to themselves why the don't love the thing they love one hundred percent

True. But to be fair, on a few occasions, the standup was bad on purpose. He fumbled his lines on a television performance because the maid lost his napkin, and he bombed at the school assembly. "What's the deal with homwork? You're not working on your home!"

If anything, the clear differences between these plot-specific failures, and the regular stand-up clips, just goes to prove that the normal ones are not deliberately bad.

QDRPHNC

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Re: Comedians You Like Not Making You Laugh
« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2021, 03:30:41 PM »
I might be wrong, but I don't think the opening stand-up routines were all written by him, they were often done by the writers to relate the plot a bit. Some of them are pretty bad, I admit.

up_the_hampipe

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Re: Comedians You Like Not Making You Laugh
« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2021, 03:37:01 PM »
And Jerry Seinfeld The Character *is* smug, there is no contridiction at all. His life is easy, and he's very pleased with himself because of that.

Jerry Seinfeld's smugness is certainly not a character. I think you're giving him a lot more credit for what he's doing as a stand-up, and perhaps conflating it with the sitcom character that was developed by a writing team.

Re: Comedians You Like Not Making You Laugh
« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2021, 03:37:55 PM »
I might be wrong, but I don't think the opening stand-up routines were all written by him, they were often done by the writers to relate the plot a bit. Some of them are pretty bad, I admit.

If you go see Seinfeld in the O2, you'll certainly see a better show than what the clips in the show suggest, I agree. When I saw him in Dublin in 2012, we literally laughed the minute he walked onstage and didn't stop. Even the Q&A at the end was hilarious (he told a funny story about how he was taking a selfie with a fan and by pure coincidence Wayne Knight walked into the cafe, to which Jerry said "Hello Newman" without hesitation. The fan lost his shit).

Re: Comedians You Like Not Making You Laugh
« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2021, 03:41:01 PM »
Jerry Seinfeld's smugness is certainly not a character. I think you're giving him a lot more credit for what he's doing as a stand-up, and perhaps conflating it with the sitcom character that was developed by a writing team.

I don't really know what your point is here. The character Jerry has always played onstage and in the sitcom is of a self-satisfied man. If he's the same in real life, what's that got to do with anything? I don't watch him at home with his wife, I watch him on my telly and occasionally onstage.

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Re: Comedians You Like Not Making You Laugh
« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2021, 03:52:32 PM »
If you go see Seinfeld in the O2, you'll certainly see a better show than what the clips in the show suggest, I agree. When I saw him in Dublin in 2012, we literally laughed the minute he walked onstage and didn't stop. Even the Q&A at the end was hilarious (he told a funny story about how he was taking a selfie with a fan and by pure coincidence Wayne Knight walked into the cafe, to which Jerry said "Hello Newman" without hesitation. The fan lost his shit).

He didn't do the Q&A at the show I was at (Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas), but it was the same audience reaction, laughter beginning to end.

Re: Comedians You Like Not Making You Laugh
« Reply #21 on: October 07, 2021, 03:55:39 PM »
He's a funny guy that Seinfeld.

up_the_hampipe

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Re: Comedians You Like Not Making You Laugh
« Reply #22 on: October 07, 2021, 03:57:02 PM »
I don't really know what your point is here. The character Jerry has always played onstage is of a self-satisfied man. If he's the same in real life, what's that got to do with anything? I don't watch him at home with his wife, I watch him on my telly and occasionally onstage.

Is that what he's playing on stage, or is that just how he comes across? Unless I've missed something in his act, I'm not seeing this "character". The smugness is how he talks about comedy, people and life in various interviews, and how others have spoken about him, that informs my opinion on his approach to performing. His comedy, to me, looks like he wants to be seen by audiences as relatable, not a self-satisfied ass.

Re: Comedians You Like Not Making You Laugh
« Reply #23 on: October 07, 2021, 04:07:40 PM »
Is that what he's playing on stage, or is that just how he comes across? Unless I've missed something in his act, I'm not seeing this "character". The smugness is how he talks about comedy, people and life in various interviews, and how others have spoken about him, that informs my opinion on his approach to performing. His comedy, to me, looks like he wants to be seen by audiences as relatable, not a self-satisfied ass.

Well, my opinion of Jerry Seinfeld might be informed by being an obsessive fan of Seinfeld (the sitcom) for several decades, i'll concede that much. You did say in another thread that you hadn't watched the show beyond season 2, and even the biggest fans will admit that it was far from hitting it's stride at that point. I am of the opinion that they hadn't really worked out at the characters till at least season 4 (possibly season 5). Damn, you wouldn't have even seen Frank Costanza or Newman by that point!!

If I watched a Jerry Seinfeld stand-up set without seeing the show, I doubt I would enjoy it. But getting to know and love that character (whoever wrote it) on screen means watching his stand up makes me happy. And he's undeniably a consummate professional. He's not my favourite stand up ever, but there's few that fill me with so much joy.

up_the_hampipe

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Re: Comedians You Like Not Making You Laugh
« Reply #24 on: October 07, 2021, 04:19:21 PM »
Yes, ultimately we're on the more passionate ends of each side. I've obviously not watched much of the sitcom, but I am going through it currently. Maybe by the end, I'll be a fan and we can be united. Most likely I'll just have even more respect for Larry David.

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Re: Comedians You Like Not Making You Laugh
« Reply #25 on: October 07, 2021, 04:36:07 PM »
It's harder to appreciate Seinfeld now if you're not that familiar with his work because his style/show has been parodied and ridiculed so much that if you try and watch him you've got all that swimming around in your head, almost like you've been pre-prepared to dislike it. A bit like people misattributing "what's the deal with..." to his TV show when that phrase was used less than half a dozen times in 180 shows, its usually a criticism made by people who havent seen the show and its instead based on parodies they've seen. At the end of the day, he's just a good old-fashioned family-friendly comedian, which isn't usually my bag, baby, but he's just so good at what he does it's hard not to be sucked in. But yeah, if it wasn't for the TV show I doubt I would have given his stand up a try.

Re: Comedians You Like Not Making You Laugh
« Reply #26 on: October 07, 2021, 04:39:33 PM »
Yes, ultimately we're on the more passionate ends of each side. I've obviously not watched much of the sitcom, but I am going through it currently. Maybe by the end, I'll be a fan and we can be united. Most likely I'll just have even more respect for Larry David.

I love Curb and think it's more consistent than Seinfeld (although Seinfeld's best episodes beat Curb's best by some considerable distance), but I wouldn't consider Larry David one of Seinfeld's greatest writers. Granted he was at least half responsible for devising the concept and characters, but the show was almost better after he left. It would be like watching The Simpsons 1-9 and having more respect for Matt Groening as a result.

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Re: Comedians You Like Not Making You Laugh
« Reply #27 on: October 07, 2021, 05:24:57 PM »
I might be wrong, but I don't think the opening stand-up routines were all written by him, they were often done by the writers to relate the plot a bit. Some of them are pretty bad, I admit.

I wonder if the introduction of Kenny Bania, apart from him being a funny foil, was designed to show what a real stand-up hack was like, i.e. not Jerry.

Re: Comedians You Like Not Making You Laugh
« Reply #28 on: October 07, 2021, 06:36:15 PM »
https://youtu.be/DqbvsDt_D3o

At 34 minutes into this interview, Seinfeld says something about his style that's interesting to consider -- basically, this is the only thing he can do, and he has no other choice. If he wants to get on stage and make people laugh, he only has the one way to do it.

Lisa Jesusandmarychain

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Re: Comedians You Like Not Making You Laugh
« Reply #29 on: October 07, 2021, 10:34:49 PM »
Did I miss a meeting?

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