Leaving aside for a moment the question of these statements’ accuracy…
I wrote this mostly because I want to post something after a crazy-stressful week, and I feel both silly and serious.
This topic kinda did it for me.
I started a new book tonight– absolutely fascinating so far– and one statement got me following a winding track.
“Comedy comes out of anger, and interesting comes out of angry; otherwise there’s no conflict.”
–Hollywood producer Brian Grazer
Two thoughts came connected to that.
- So that’s why I’m not funny. I’m not angry.
- This is a distinctly American observation.
One day at a library (actually, I was trying to map my climax’s time line and picked the wrong section to sit near– fat spines with enticing titles far too easy to read from 6 yards away) I picked up a book about comedy and the introduction observed that the humor of Great Britain and the United States are two entirely different animals: the British emphasis seems to be more on word-play, while American humor is distinctively violent.
Why do we laugh at slapstick, anyway? What’s so funny about watching someone get beat up?
And that makes me wonder about an AP article I read about the difficulty of translating American comedies for the international market
The article was unfortunately poor– only one example, if I remember correctly, and it was of a comedy that was a flop even here at home, so I couldn’t understand the significance of it being a loser overseas.
Anyway, I’ve often wondered if there was a way to learn to be funny. And now I’m wondering if there’s a way to learn different cultures’ funny the way you try to learn their mannerisms or gestures to match their language.
That would be so awesome– one could work at meshing the different types of comedy in the regions referenced in your story, and see how much could be amalgamated with the culture where the story is being told…
And, okay. I’m done now.
Hope your week is more peaceful and less-hectic than mine was last week.