Saturday, February 3, 2007

Laughter is the closest distance between two people. Victor Borge

Today's Daily is dedicated to comedy. I feel like I need some uplifting as the arrival of February has dampened my sense of humour - where is the year disappearing already??

Last week Kit Kat and I watched a documentary all about comedy called the Aristocrats. It's hard to describe, but if you don't like swearing, do not ever, ever, ever, EVER watch this film. It will probably kill you. There were parts of this film that freaked me out and I have very few boundaries when it comes to finding stuff offensive, as some of you may know. I can clear a room in about two and a half minutes with my graphic descriptions of smear tests (and, as Hicks said, I am available for weddings, bar mitzphahs....).

I didn't enjoy all of the Aristocrats, but it did really make me think about how what we find funny is as much a reflection of who we are as our tastes in art, music, or books. I think comedy is often a less-appreciated art form, assumed to be a less sophisticated form of art. But it's not easy to make people laugh, and it's definitely not easy to make people laugh for a living. Our favourite comedians reflect our own personalities back at us, which is why I usually introduce potential new friends to Bill Hicks quite early on, because if they don't like him, they will probably find me wearing after a while...

Hicks is definitely my favourite comedian of all time and some of my other favourites are featured below. But I would love to hear from people about what makes you laugh, and who. And if you have a favourite joke, I would like to hear that too. My favourite joke of all time (it varies, really - for a long time, it was a three-legged donkey, and then a fish without an eye):

A man walks into a bar.
He says, 'Ouch.'

So, a selection of some of my favourite comedians of the moment, courtesy of YouTube.

Eddie Izzard, Dressed to Kill Tour

David O' Doherty - filmed off the telly from someone's mobile phone, from Rob Rouse's new Comedy:Shuffle

Frankie Boyle. I would hump him for his CD's. He could even keep the CD's. Fact.

David Armand miming as Johann Lipowitz.

Women love men who are funny, but is it true the other way round? Maybe not so much. Maybe this could explain why stand up comey has to be one of the last vestiges of male professional protectionism. There are many talented and established comedy actresses, but stand up is an area that can still be very hard for women to break into.

Michelle Gomez. Green Wing is funny, but she is funniest.

Smack the Pony. Obviously. Where Green Wing was born.

Finally, Jessica Stevenson in Spaced.

As you were.

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