Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Laughing for laughing's sake

Like whoa! -Black Rob

Thanks to RAFFI for this topic. His post on his blog, CitizenMindful,
Laughing my Asinine off is what inspired today's post.

About two weeks ago, I attended The Brooklyn Comedy Company's monthly show, "Shades Of Black: The Breakdown".

I wasn't sure what to expect, so I first took a guess and predicted that I would experience either one of two types of black comedy. (Black as in Afr. American, not to be mistaken for black as in dark comedy.)

Either the:
- Angry black comics (neo-soul, right-fist in the air type of comedy)

or the...

- BET Comicview / Showtime at the Apollo type of comedy.

I was happy to say that I got neither.
To get a better idea of the type of comedy, click here.

Overall, the comedy was pretty good. I would rate it at a 7.5 out of 10. Not laugh out loud, bust a gut--but definitely good!

So I entered the show, at a time that I thought I would be late. (The flyer said 8pm.) Instead, I got there around 9pm, because I had a busy Comedy Run that night. To my benefit, the show had just started. (Thank God for CPT.) Anyway, the show was packed, with a mixed crowd--black and whites, and some blacks with whites (Yep, interracial couples, folks! I'm going to take this moment and quote Black Rob and say, "Like whoa!") Interracial couples front row at a comedy show? (Now, that's takin' some liberties that most would not feel comfortable doing--even in NYC. That's begging to be made fun of*, or at least pointed out.) I think of interracial dating constantly, so much that it became a monomania. (Thank you Free!)

Okay, so now the show has started, and it's going well. Typically, with all comedy shows, there's a host. The host's role is not to steal the show or anyone's thunder, but to keep things rolling. Some times the host tells mild jokes, minor stories or chats up the audience (crowd work) just to keep the energy light--but nothing hard-hitting. The host is not there to make laugh out loud gut-busting jokes.

That being said, someone should have told the couple in the back row that this was the case. This couple made no bones about laughing at everything the host said. The host would be in the middle of the joke, just about to give the punchline, and this couple would burst out laughing--first started by the woman cackling and the boyfriend filling in where she left off. And it was so disconcerting that even the host stopped her set for a bit and addressed the outrageous couple in the back. And to add some color the picture, the couple was white. (Not all black people are loud and obnoxious, you prejudiced pricks---white people are, too!)

Anyway, it did get to the point of irksome and perhaps even greatly annoying, to the point of members of the audience turning around and glaring, like you would do in a movie theater.

My point is that, as much as we comedians want you to have a good time and laugh, it's very unfunny if you laugh at everything. It throws off our radar. We can't tell what really is funny and what's not. It's also extremely disturbing to not only the joke-tellers, but to the rest of the audience.

So I'm saying, like RAFFI, be mindful. We understand you had too much to drink, but don't ruin it for everyone else.

* There's a theory that the reason why you don't see certain groups/demographics represented a comedy shows are because they're afraid of getting made fun of. For example: Fat people, and Asians. I'm not being racist myself. I'm just repeating conversations that I've had with other comedians. I should be like dragnet: "Just the facts ma'am," but I guess this is closer to hearsay.


Did you enjoy this post? Buy me a warm cup of joe.


RAFFI said...

like whoa! that was almost like the ending of 'sixth sense' when you revealed that the inappropriate laughers were white... very well written. just goes to show how our minds process the world and how we all have preconceived notions. now i'm off with my monomania of the day.... smelling people's hair. thanks for the props, btw. :) and if you ever have a show in the city, make sure to inform me.

Lucy said...

Glad you liked the twist ending. It only became evident as I was re-reading it. A loud Warner Bros. cartoon SCREECH (with a huge dust cloud following) resonated in my head. I thought to myself, "Wait a minute! Something is missing." And then I realized I had to add that all-important element.

Writeprocrastinator said...

"This couple made no bones about laughing at everything the host said."

Ah, yes, huffers doing whipits do have a tendency to effect a comedian's timing. The host should've told them "please, I don't bother you when you work. I let your sniff paint fumes in peace, so let me do my thing."