ANCHORAGE, AK–A group of committed writers have simultaneously decided to take a hiatus from society. Operating under the moniker The Pariahs, they have collectively rented out the full entirety of False Pass, Alaska, a community whose population typically numbers just 35. All of the town’s inhabitants have moved for the winter. This resulting solitude and isolation will give The Pariahs a chance to write and critique their projects amid the wilderness.
However, without a grocer or blacksmith, or other reasonably skilled individual on call, some outsiders wonder how the group will fare in the extreme conditions that accompany a Northern winter. Writers as a general class, are known for their marked non-athleticism as well as their tendencies to nest deeply and helplessly within their own homes.
In the face of their upcoming adversity, the writers remain unfazed and quite belligerent. “It’s like this;” said Dave Lebowski, founder of The Pariahs, “Society like to pretend that it doesn’t need the writerly type. Well, we don’t really need society, apart from using it as a backdrop for every single one of our stories.” When pressed about the logistical details, Lebowski simply stated, “I’ve read Moby Dick and The Swiss Family Robinson. Have you?”
In response to the question of survival, Anna Simpke, one of the few female Pariahs, had a few simple words: “Seriously, do you know how many bags of Doritos one can fit on a single propeller plane? Case closed.”
I have a thing for slender, funny men. Canadian men, specifically.
SO, Would someone please open a Canadian-style club where men dress up like mounties and do a little strip tease? Where they encourage their employees to adopt handlebar mustaches? We could call it Flannel.
And they could wear these babies on cold winter nights:
We can all agree that Buzzfeed videos promise to bring the funny, yet they rarely deliver. Until today. I stumbled upon a very lovely vid, 12 Signs Being Ladylike Is Not Your Forte. Though one could never tell from the clunky title, it’s actually a funny and charming video. The actresses made me feel human again, if only for a quick minute.
My body lets me know that you’re the one. My body gives me unmistakable signs.
When I kiss your beautiful, adorable face, my heart starts beating fast. The beating induces a panic attack that typically lasts 20 minutes. I want to keep making out, but you usually make us stop.
When I see you walk into the room, I sometimes get the feeling of little tingles in my arms and legs, the kind that usually precedes a heart attack. I get so nervous about my vital signs that I experience another panic attack. You convince me not to call the ambulance.
Once in a while, when we make love, I see the world in an entire new way. I feel exhilarated, and my vision becomes clearer than usual. It’s almost like I’m high, in a spiritual sense. Then, the amount of oxygen that I swallow induces another panic attack. The sex actually becomes more harrowing, but you just try to finish as fast as you can.
As a grizzled comedian, veteran of a great many wild shows, I’ve heard it all. Porn jokes, mother***ing jokes, even the rarer sexpoop jokes. But something now has changed, and a certain source of joy has fled me; with horror, I admit that penis jokes no longer make me laugh.
It used to be different. In these happier days, when I still found the penis a source of true comedy, the simple utterance of the word “girth” would send me into hysterics. Then too, my young nephew would misspell “coke” as c**k, inspiring guffaws upon guffaws. Indeed, there was a time when someone unbuttoning their pants and wiggling their index finger through their fly would cause me to cackle. Nowadays, these cleverties no longer enthuse my withered soul.
In an attempt to recollect my joie de vivre, I went on a pilgrimage on The National Mall, with the intent of humiliating my tour guide as we stood opposite the Washington Monument. His emotional unhinging and my subsequent removal from the tour did not even produce a chuckle. Growing more anxious, I attended an amateur standup open mic. There, the penis jokes numbered in the dozens. Still, no mirth. In desperation, I spent the night with a stranger and, while he was sleeping, approached his dork and glued upon it googly eyes. But there was no laughter. Nothing. In sorrow, I admitted defeat.
Now dawns the age of vagina jests.
In the 1970′s, comedy legend John Cleese co-created the critically-acclaimed series, Fawlty Towers. In Fawlty Tower‘s DVD commentary, he tells the story of his inspiration. He and his creative team stayed at a hotel whose owner treated them with disrespect bordering on hostility. In disgust, members of Cleese’s party left for more hospitable lodging. Cleese had the opposite reaction; he felt drawn to the man, interested in learning what could possibly motivate someone to treat paying guests thusly.
Cleese’s hunch paid off. The contentious hotel owner inspired the series that many consider to be the funniest of all time. We should all take a valuable lesson from this story–if you pay close attention to the douches around you (though on some level, douchiness exists within all of us), then you might gain some serious inspiration. Personally, I feel blessed, because my idea well will never, ever run dry.
Fox’s new-ish series, Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2013), is like an elementary school play cast with Disney child stars. The series makes predictable jokes based on its premise: depicting work life in a Police Station. Truly, the actors perform with deadly comedic accuracy. This excellent delivery serves to brightens up the show; however, it can’t make up for its sluggish pace.
In contrast, more cutting-edge shows do not build in dead space between jokes. Thus, if viewers don’t find a particular line amusing, they do not have to sit through a couple of action-less seconds. more sophisticated series run at a quicker pace. They spit out multiple jokes in a fast succession. Even if the humor fail to hit home, another, possibly better joke is right on the horizon. This makes the experience far less boring. Comedy Central’s Broad City (2014) is a show that follows this quicker format.
Broad City depicts life for two twenty-somethings in New York City. It seems to capture the seemingly-aimless spirit of millennials’ lives. Dating mishaps, drug use, scraping by, falling short of a creative dream–it’s all there. Jacobson and Glazer take these issues, which could be construed as negative absences in a twenty-something’s life, and transform them into quality comedy. In terms of covering daily life, it’s like Seinfeld, but edgier (and more prone to the occasional classist joke).
Writers of Broad City seems to understand that it’s best to cut a joke and move on immediately. They tend to drop a bomb of zaniness, and then move out of the area as fast as possible. It keeps the humor fresh and fun. Find a way to check out this show; it’s worth it.
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Tagged Abbi Jacobson, Acting, artist, Blog, Broad City, Comedy, creativity, Criticism, Feminism, Funny, Generation, humor, Ilana Glazer, improv, pop culture, Television, twentysomething