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Started by tribalfusion, January 06, 2022, 11:19:47 PM
Quote from: notjosh on January 07, 2022, 01:35:09 PMI can't find a link to it but I assume you mean the routine where he claims that every American stand-up is just trying to pitch their own 'my crazy family' sitcom:"My mum's Jewish and my dad's Italian... so when I see a bagel, I don't know whether to eat it, or shove it up my ass!"Which is sort of the thing that bothers me about most stand-up I see now, British included. So much of it seems to be built around cliched identity labels. "I'm sort of nerdy looking so here are some jokes about how unsuccessful I am on Tinder". "My parents are Muslims so here are some jokes about not having Christmas". "I come from the North and now I'm in London so here are some jokes about not talking to people on the bus."Most of the time I couldn't give a shit about what a comedian's life is like, unless they happen to be genuinely fascinating and weird (eg Maria Bamford). What I want to know is if they've figured out a new and interesting way of looking at the world that will spark a couple of synapses in my head and give me something to take away with me.Fundamentally I think there is a dearth of actual ideas in the stand up scene at the moment. Britain has some good purveyors of offbeat observational comedy (Acaster, Bailey, Kitson when he's in full stand-up mode) which I get a lot out of, but I can't think of any recent British acts who have impressed me with political or social commentary. The US is probably still better on this front, with the likes of CK, Burr and Stanhope, but their output has been tailing off for a few years now.
Quote from: Mister Six on January 07, 2022, 01:53:32 PMOh! I forgot to say, I'm from the UK but have been in the US for six or seven years now. And I was living abroad before that, so I've not blundered into random live UK stand-up acts for aces. So take everything I say with a pinch of salt.There are more interesting US comedians, but they're all middle-aged now. Or older. Or dead. Or cancelled. Maria Bamford, Louis CK, Norm MacDonald (sometimes, although I watched half of his Netflix special and it was just gag-gag-gag)... Bill Hicks occasionally had a theatricality that went beyond "standing at a stage telling jokes" and worked in themes and something of a structure. Again, I've not approached this scientifically or in massive depth so I might be talking out of my arse - and I've not been to see any live comedy since maybe a year before Covid sprang up - but even when people have a bit of a "character" like Anthony Jeselnik it's more of a stance for telling a particular kind of joke. I watched a couple of his Netflix shows and aside from the "edgy" material just being a bit bland and obvious, I kept thinking, "Imagine if this audience sat down to watch Jerry Sadowitz at work..."I dunno, maybe it's different in LA. Didn't Adam Buxton do Bug out there? I can't imagine their being an audience for that in New York.
Quote from: Pimhole on January 07, 2022, 03:02:07 PMI think this does have a large part in it. Why slog away in your local comedy fleapit in Dipshit, Ohio when you can have a much bigger audience on YouTube or TikTok? There also doesn't seem to be the same progression from comedy clubs to late night talk shows any more. Do any of the talk shows have regular "here's a new stand up" slots any more? Or do they just lock them all up in their writers' room so the host can continue to look brilliantly funny?I think the sheer size of the US is another factor. It's possible to live in, say, Swindon or Lancaster but still work the whole UK stand-up circuit. In the US and particularly if you want industry attention, you'd have to be in New York or LA... possibly Chicago.Finally, I think the Edinburgh Festival makes a big difference to the UK scene. Sure it has it's problems (A LOT of problems) but it is a place where being creative, different or mould-breaking is positively encouraged AND gets a lot of industry attention if that's your aim. Edinburgh shows are reviewed in national newspapers, showcased on national TV and can lead to a solo national tour. There's nothing like that in the US and if there were, it would be totally bland, corporate and commercialised and would not have the batshit creative energy of Edinburgh.
Quote from: Peabo Bryson Is Not Dead on January 07, 2022, 06:53:07 PMAs a Brit that's lived in LA and now in NYC, comedy is a strange beast here compared to back home.An American comic is either huge, massive, all over every platform or a struggling writer for late night or a new (terrible) cartoon. There is no in-between, no Rob Beckett. The bigger names have streaming specials, awful podcasts and a guest spot on the plethora of network TV talent shows. For me, I've gone off The Comedy Store, Comedy Cellar and their ilk because all the acts spew out tired tropes on race, twisted realities on nationalities (did you know the Irish like a drink?) or anal sex. That's it. There are very few fresh opinions and even less good jokes on it. There is an incredible mulch of landfill comedy here that all merge in to one.There is still hope in the smaller clubs, the backrooms, the bizarre improvs but then a lot fall in to the same old boxes to get their big break; Black gangster, neurotic Jew, naive Midwestern brought up in a religious home, nerdy Asian. Exist outside of these definitions and you don't have a chance. Unless your parents have already worked on SNL, a place which is seemingly the filter and fork in the road for most US comedy.It's similar to the UK system, as it were. The Alternative become the Establishment, Oxbridge, podcast buddies and sketch cliques, professional Northerners, professional homosexuals, professional Northern homosexuals... I do miss UK clubs though, whether it be pub back rooms, a City Varieties or a Glee. The talent mix is better and the diversity of gender, race, class and sexuality decades ahead of the US. Like others have already stated, UK stand-ups have an appreciation of the live audience while US stand-ups are desperate for Lorne Michaels to be in the room or Bill Burr turning up for a guest spot so they in turn can be discovered.There isn't going to be another Billion Dollar Jerry but there's a good build up of personalities, storytellers and acts (as opposed to a weak 6 minute spot of shite gags) coming up via TikTok because there are too many barriers everywhere else.So, yeah. The StewartNotIain Lee is sort of correct.
Quote from: tribalfusion on January 07, 2022, 07:26:06 PMThanks for posting and I largely agree with you. Have you discussed your views with many people in the US and what are their reactions?
Quote from: tribalfusion on January 07, 2022, 07:20:31 PMTed AlexandroDave AnthonyLee CampDavid CrossNato GreenJudah FriedlanderMaria Bamford David FeldmanHari KondaboluEddie PepitoneWyatt CenacTim HeideckerEric Andre
Quote from: Scrapey Fish on January 07, 2022, 09:10:58 AMI'd also argue that the departure of Louie CK as a credible figure and the death of Norm are leaving a big hole at the higher end of the US scene.
Quote from: Petey Pate on January 08, 2022, 03:23:41 PMWhat irritated me about Stewart Lee's comment was the assumption that comedians from other English speaking countries are superior to American comedians, even if I may well agree with him that majority of US comics are bland, hacks or outright awful (and the same could equally be said about British comics) and that Stanhope and Bamford are clearly well above the average.
Quote from: WhoMe on January 08, 2022, 02:36:42 PMAnd Chapelle seppuku'ing himself.
Quote from: Ferris on January 08, 2022, 07:37:19 PMWhy be a professional comic? You can make loads more money churning out 50 seasons of how I met your Big Bang theory for NBC or doing cameos on SNL in an amusing wig.
Quote from: Ferris on January 08, 2022, 07:37:19 PMI'm struggling to come up with off-beat American comics. Gregg Turkington/Neil Hamburger, Mitch Hedberg, Emo Philips, Steven Wright and most of those have a similar style (a style I like, which is the reason I've sought them out and know them). Even Demetri Martin has changed his act from a self aware weirdo when I saw him in Edinburgh to a gurning joker doing drab material on a Netflix special.The expectation (Seinfeld to blame I think) in the US is you work as a comic in order to become an actor or write sitcoms. If you're Canadian, you move LA, then start working as a comic to try and break into telly. I have a friend who works as a standup and her career plan is exactly this - she writes scripts in her downtime and the standup is (primarily) for connections and exposure.Why be a professional comic? You can make loads more money churning out 50 seasons of how I met your Big Bang theory for NBC or doing cameos on SNL in an amusing wig.Hedberg on precisely this subject: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6BGLF1AaFi4
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