I Don't Get Swearing as Being Funny

I Don't Get Swearing as Being Funny

restisaweapon    from Don McDonald's Comedy Zone

(6949 Views 3 Comments)

I remember when George Carlin opened up the swearing thing with his '7 words you can't say on Television'. I found that so funny. But it was like the gauntlet fell or something. A few decades later and much of club and late night comedy finds it's self depending on swearing to be funny. I think it is a part of the generation that is coming up now because even comedians, not known for that in their acts, seem to adjust their material to accommodate the younger audience. I read the review of stand up Tim Allen's show and the critic wrote exactly that. Saying Tim's show had decayed into a constant punctuation of 'F'ing that seemed to be his attempt to suit what was a younger audience.

I have noticed this about my local stand up clubs that are open mic, amateur friendly venues. I listen to the amount of swearing in a piece and think to myself...How would this act be able to go to the next level?Being Cruise ships, or TV audiences, when the material is so filled with swearing that would not be allowed in those venues. Some say the hard sound of K's and T's are needed to bring emphasis to the phrase. So that something funny could be made funnier using that. I agree to a point. But when your use of those words finds it self in almost every sentence spoken, it becomes apparent your depending on it to carry the act to 'funny'. And worse, the audience isn't stupid and they recognize this. So that your material isn't original anymore it carries the same brand name as always "I'm only 'F'ing funny"



James Alex Gerard
Dear Don: I agree. Cursing isn't funny. First of all, it's too east to write. It's a cop out for not being able to create anything insightful to say. And with my writing, I try to keep everything "middle of the road." Nothing I write draws an "R" rating. I don't do sexually explicit, vulgar or racial jokes. Again, that's too easy. And, like you noted, it limits your audience. A number of years ago, as I remember, I did see Mr. Jimmie Walker do a stand-up routine on television in which he proved good comedy doesn't need one bit of profanity. He didn't even use so much as the word "damn" and was funny as heck. Now, I know he may have had a writer or writers, and they showed that at least they don't have to fall back on profanities to get laughs. At most, I do have a lot of drinking jokes. And some minor recreational-drug jokes. Because those are part of our pop culture. Especially in professional-sports humor, as I do. And I never make light of serious things, or mock people.. Appropriate, tasteful parodies -- fair comment and criticism -- are fine, but deliberate, ignorant insults are not. There's been numerous "shock comics" with some gimmick. And they need a gimmick to sell themselves, because they can't make it on their own ability. I've always been inspired by the classics. I'm a throwback. I grew up on The Three Stooges, The Marx Brothers, Abbott And Costello and Laurel And Hardy. Hardly questionable material for children, older people or the prudent individuals. There's a huge void in the film-industry today, I feel. There's nothing but a stream of remakes. Why? Because they've run out of ideas. Perhaps they feel even the classic works need to be redone to appeal to a younger generation. Nonsense. The greats will always be great, and remain timeless. I seek to build on what the pioneers did. And not copy them. I do material that the above-mentioned performers would have used. I know that. But, where are such for me to work with today? These days, I feel there's some mold in the industry. And you have to fit that mold. Then there's an emphasis on having "priors." If someone like me doesn't have those, no one listens. So, how can the industry evolve and progress as it should when such as me are excluded? I know there's other visionary writers and creators out there, and it will require a team effort to make those changes. ---------------- "I was recently the victim of an identity-theft ring. But the perpetrators took one look at how awful my finances are, then felt bad for me, and ended up giving me their identities instead." -- James Alex Gerard
thanks James, we're on the same page (no pun intended) don
I’m afraid I disagree, I feel profanity highlights the humor in certain situation. It’s just a different type of market that excepts it. It is raw and not family friendly but as long as I have no plans to do anything but local clubs I find no problems in cursing during my act. I think it does inflate my stories and jokes and leaves me with a stigma that there is nothing I will not say. Degrading women however is a line I will not cross. I guess everyone has thier limitation on morality and ethics. Thanks for you opinion, keep it real. Best wishes.