Saturday, September 11, 2010

Mood spoiler

On a beautiful day in Whittier when the sun is shining and the sky is clear for embarking passengers, the video department decides to play a Barry Manilow concert on the movie under the stars screen. I'm not sure what Barry has to do with Alaska, certainly not as appropriate as Chaplin's Gold Rush in Skagway.
Perhaps it is more of a statement than I imagine. We are not that far from the town where Sarah Palin was mayor for a moment. Perhaps the video department is asking the musical question "why is any one listening to either one of these media anomalies?" Just a thought. Probably I am over thinking the whole entertainment purview. Continuing along this line one might wonder what a ventriloquist has to do with Glaciers? Why did they hire me at my current quote to entertain? Okay, I offer a rationale. Glaciers, one of nature's natural wonders and something one doesn't see often enough.... Ventriloquist. Okay so I am stretching the envelope until it becomes a FedEx package but on these cross over days I have more down time than humility.
I got some great responses from my opEd on comedy. Thanks to all that replied. I'm not sure that what you spend your time thinking affects ones comedy. But I am sure that what we think affects our lives.
It has to do more with my philosophy on life than comedy. I do believe that you attract that which you call for. You make a duck call and you attract ducks not moose. You attract that which you spend your time thinking about. I think there are many funny situations that just happen in life and the comic has a capacity to remember and a forum to express that life event in an entertaining way. But I think one has to wait for the truly inspired moment and not settle for the easy way out and go for a joke on purely shock value. Not that shock value is not a great thing in some cases. I even employ that very method in my Tony Award winning show. Balance and moderation. If I did it more than once in the show wouldn't work as well.
Like I say, too much down time on crossover days.
As you were,


P. Grecian said...

"I'm not sure that what you spend your time thinking affects ones comedy."

Okay...but you're NOT stretching a point.
What you're doing is thinking like a WRITER, which is one of the several creatures you are.
As a writer, you're vivisecting every moment to see why it is...what's under it and how useful it may be. All of those moments go into the stew, enriching it. Each comedy bit or routine or (in your case) Tony-winning show exists because of the things you spend your life thinking about, no matter how irrelevant they seem. You really can't keep away from this process, and none of it is irrelevant. The process of considering these irrelevancies is what makes the stew. Some of it, you write here, which focuses it for you, and provides recipe elements for all of us as well.
(Oh my, how I do go on).

Bob Conrad said...

I have seen your Tony award winning show, and your one "Shock" line with a chisel, and know exactly what you are talking about. George Carlin was a comedic genius, and could find humor in the most unusual places, but I for one think he could have cleaned up some of his language and been just as funny.