"But nowadays everybody's a comedian, even the weather girls and continuity announcers. We laugh at everything. Not intelligently anymore, not with sudden shock, astonishment, or revelation, just relentlessly and meaninglessly. No more rain showers in the desert, just mud and drizzle everywhere, occasionally illuminated by the flash of paparazzi."
- Douglas Adams
I really like comedy. I like comedy a lot. Most of my friends like comedy. I'm in two improv troupes. I've done sketches and comedy videos many times. But comedy and I need to talk.
One of my favorite comedies of all time is Arrested Development. Arrested Development has a clever story line, clever characters, and extremely well-written dialogue. In many ways, it's the perfect comedy TV show. The plot advances at a good pace, the characters are humorous but believable, and it can put on a serious face without ever ceasing to be clever and entertaining.
Friday Conor shares my passion for Arrested Development, and has also introduced me to a number of other comedies. For example, one of his favorite movies is Hot Rod. Hot Rod is a movie designed expressly to get laughs; a series of well-coordinated jokes, one after another. However, I have trouble getting into Hot Rod.
I need context for jokes to have effect on me. I find shows like Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog and Arrested Development far funnier than Hot Rod or (dare I mention) Black Dynamite, because they can tackle serious issues while still being every bit as clever and funny. I find that movies which aim only to be funny start to feel hollow.
I think this is also why I prefer long-form improv to short-form. Not only is the scene funny, but it can tell a longer, more elaborate story.
I consider comedy to be a vessel: not a pursuit in and of itself, but a tool used to tell a story.