It sucks being stuck in an office on a day like today. I ran away at lunch so I could go for a drive with the top down. Stopped by my house to grab a quick lunch with the dog. Turned on Comedy Central (the only station worth watching) and saw an ad for blue collar comics. You know, Jeff Foxworthy and those other Cletus-sounding guys. The thing that bothers me most about those comics – specifically the cable guy comic – is that they’re trying to act like they’re living the white trash reality they dissect in their acts, yet you know those assholes are getting pedicures and $1,000 blow jobs and are sleeping on high thread-count sheets and staying in penthouse suites. There’s no dirt under their fingernails.
This brings up an interesting issue. How does an entertainer – a comic, in this example – stay honest about what he/she is doing? There are plenty of comics who come from poor circumstances – probably MOST comics come from poor circumstances and that’s where a lot of the comedy comes from – but they don’t PRETEND they’re still poor as you’re watching their show at Carnegie Hall or whatever. They reference their childhoods, but they don’t act like they’re still living in a trailer park or in the ghetto. Chris Rock might joke about growing up broke, but he does it in a leather suit. He’s not pretending he’s one of the audience members. Not like the cable guy comic, wearing a sleeveless shirt and a gimme cap. Then again, if you’ve made your living as regular old Joe, what are you supposed to do once the money starts rolling in? Start doing comedy about your woes with your stock portfolio and how hard it is to get your kid into that private school where one of the Kennedys teaches?
What kind of comedy would Louie Anderson do if he no longer was a big fat turd? Would he do diet humor instead of buffet jokes? Maybe he would evolve as a comic and do jokes about other stuff? We’ll probably never know. And I don’t have an answer about what the cable guy comic should do. I wouldn’t have found him funny even if I’d seen him on open mic night at the Laff Stop back when he was actually po’ white trash, so maybe I’m just out of my element. I don’t find his comedy to be funny or enlightening or entertaining or pithy or interesting, so therefore it has no purpose in my life. A comic doesn’t have to be political, but he/she does have to have a brain. Otherwise, I can grab the nearest 12-year-old and exchange fart jokes. Actually, that sounds like a good idea. I’ll be right back.