What IS funny?|
Steve Averett writes:
Saw Branagh's Hamlet the first weekend out. It was indeed excellent. It even inspired me to register for another quarter of Shakespeare, despite the fact that I'm a die-hard modernist. And yes, Jack Lemmon was sorely miscast. But cameos by Billy Crystal, Robin Williams, and especially Charlton Heston were all brilliant. Go figure...
Anyway, as a 22 year old male English major, I feel it is simply imperative that I inflict my will upon things, for better or worse, so here goes. Similarily, it is impossible for me to be brief. (Conciseness? HA!) Forgive the machismo...
Regarding political humor: It is a necessary evil. It is silly to believe that one can ignore it completely, and even if one could, that someone wouldn't still find a way to accuse said ignorer of being a sneaky liberal. Better to mock the system and be done with it. I've had folks who didn't know any better accuse APHC of being conservative, as I, abhorred, defended the show as "traditionally liberal." Who knows. This goes for religion as well. I am not an extremely religious person (not in the formal sense, anyway) but find APHC's take on religion refreshing and unobtrusive. Keep on doing what you're doing and be confident about it, dammit.
As for fart jokes, fire away. I was raised in a family where scatological humor was (lamentably) considered acceptable dinner conversation. Thus, it takes a pretty prodigious effort to offend me...
While I generally despise "crossovers", I would like to see one or two on the show. Specifically, I have a inexplicable longing to hear Julia Child as a food critic in the Cafe Bouef (culminating with a delicious cat fight between she and the Frenchman) What makes me laugh? Two words: Fred Rogers. More Mr. Rogers, I beg you. I spew nasally almost every time he appears. Endowing subdued PBS personalities with a dark side was one of your best innovations. Run with it.
I also know how badly improv plays on the radio (just below ventriloquism), but the show "Who's Line is it Anyway" has a great bit where stories are presented in altered literary styles or by different authors (e.g., "Huck Finn" as narrated by Franz Kafka). This could be done in a scripted form, somewhat like the abbreviated classics sketches. In short, anything that promotes literature on the show. You have a lot of English major fans, and those who aren't could use the cultural enlightenment. =)
I've wasted enough of your time. Please please please come to Athens and waste some of mine...
Dear Steve -----
Always good to hear from a fellow major. What is this show "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" Radio? TV? We'd like to do more with Great Lit and are never quite sure how far general knowledge extends ----- one can do parodies of Emily D or Walt W or Robert F with some confidence that the bell will ring in most belfries, but William Faulkner? I doubt it. And how many Shakespeare plays do most people know? Same with classical mythology. Same with Bible stories. Not sure that Daniel in the lions' den is still a recognizable reference in this country anymore. Having grown up with the King James Bible in one hand, I hate to give up on those stories, but don't want people to feel stupid either. The last thing you want to do in comedy is to impress people with your superior knowledge......GK
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Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).