Monday, July 27, 2009

I don't know how humor evolves.

Saturday was a long day at the end of a long week, starting at 4:15 a.m. when I got up to help set up for the Gaslight Theater yard sale (hosted, heroically, by Deb and Brad Howard).

Yard sales tend to bring out the less attractive aspects of human nature, so by the time I got home, I was not only bug-bitten, mildly sunburned, and dehydrated, I was also feeling pretty misanthropic -- especially since I still had my own work to do, and could not do what I really wanted to, which was take a four-hour nap.

So I had coffee instead, which kept me awake but made me so distracted that I eventually had to give up the pretense of working in favor of TV-induced hypnosis. Luckily, the cable box produced a jackpot: "A Night at the Opera" on TCM, followed by "Young Frankenstein" on Fox Movie Classics.

In a much better frame of mind at the end of "Young Frankenstein," I switched over to NBC to catch the last half of "Saturday Night Live" ... and wondered whether I had passed into a parallel universe where I'd had to check my sense of humor at the door.

Tracy Morgan was the host, and he wasn't funny. None of it was funny. The skits weren't funny. "Weekend Update" wasn't funny. One of the fake ads was kind of funny, but I'd seen it before, and I think I only laughed because it was marginally better than the rest of the show.

This worries me. Is it just me? Has modern humor evolved into something I just don't get? Have I passed into some midlife zone where I only laugh at the things I thought were funny when I was a teenager?

I do not want to believe this is true. I laugh at "30 Rock." I think "Extras" is hilarious. And after "Saturday Night Live," I stayed up way too late to watch an uncut version of the "South Park" movie that was playing on Comedy Central (and yes, walked around all day yesterday humming "Uncle F---a" to myself).

If you saw "Saturday Night Live" this week, did you think it was funny? Can you tell me why? Explaining why things are funny takes all the funny away, but seriously, I want to understand -- what am I missing here?


eviljwinter said...

No, SNL is not funny and hasn't been for a while. They might discover another Dana Carvey or Will Ferell or Tina Fey soon, and be funny for a few years, but then that person will leave and the suckage will start all over again.

Ed Lamb said...

My key to doing successful standup, when I was still doing such things, was to start with funny jokes. The SNL folks seem to have lost that nugget.

Anonymous said...

How do you feel about your own humour?


AnswerGirl said...

In what way -- do you mean, do I think I'm funny? That's a tough one. I find a lot of things funny, and tend to keep up a running commentary on the things that amuse me. But I try not to be one of those people who's always monologuing, or who wants you to notice they're funny. The minute someone says "You're funny," to me, I assume I'm talking too much.

I have professional comedians in my family, and am never the funniest person at holiday dinners. In fact, even in my own home, Dizzy's the funny one...