Showing posts from 2023

Favorite Comedy of 2023

2023 had a lot of great comedy, in a lot of different varieties! Here are some of my favorites: Scott Pilgrim Takes Off (TV Series) - I have not yet finished the season, but already it is some of the most inventive TV I have seen in a long time! It somehow manages to maintain a relaxed nature while not being overly meandering. It even pokes fun at the 2010 Scott Pilgrim movie, one of my comedy favorites from that year – which just goes to show the unexpected and delightful twists and turns that the show makes. Aqua Teen Forever: Plantasm (Movie) - This movie was wild in a great way – I wasn’t sure how the creators would manage to extend the TV show idea into movie length, but I thought they did a really good job at sustaining the momentum in very original ways (including pulling back a level to the two alien characters, calling attention to the fact that it is a movie in a way that reminded me of Monty Python and the Holy Grail ). A movie that manages to be truly weird, but at the same

The Challenge of Long-Running Comedy TV

  Photograph: Allstar/Cinetext/20th Century Fox © FX Networks/Everett Collection To maintain and continue your comedic momentum as a long-running show, you kind of have to get over the import of your own show, the status that the show has built over the years of its run. Too often, a show that finds success and builds a following will find itself too cautious to step on the legacy it has built thus far - whether that is Rick & Morty struggling to balance the built-up lore of the show with its comedy; The Office (US) reducing the true bite that it had in the first half of its run for a sweeter, less awkward, and more respectful tone; or Saturday Night Live ’s institution-like status at this point sometime getting in the way of truly funny material, this can definitely be a challenge. A bit of vulnerability is required and in the case of long-running comedy shows, vulnerability means maintaining and continuing a state of play and humility with an already very-established enterprise.

Comedy Spotlight: The Trip

Photograph: Phil Fisk/BBC/Revolution Improvisation in comedy can be a double-edged sword. It opens the door to inspired moments, but there is often a fine line between inspiration and indulgence. There are a number of good examples of improvisation used well in comedic TV and film - Curb Your Enthusiasm's dialogue is famously improvised, but the solid story structure of each episode allows for a purpose to the scene that plays well off of the looseness of the improvisation. This Is Spinal Tap's improvised dialogue makes the faux-documentary feel more realistic (it is probably a large part of the reason many thought it was a real documentary when it first came out), realism that plays well off of the comedic/musical setpieces of the movie. Nathan For You requires improvisation, because it is for all intents and purposes a comedic reality show. The scenarios that Nathan Fielder presents are well-thought out and comedic in and of themselves, but the real-time reactions by real peo

TikTok - How does it rate as a Comedy Platform?

Photo: Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images While I don’t like to admit it, a lot of my laughs these days come from TikTok. This is in part because of the accessibility of the app – I can easily start it up in a dull moment, something that I am not as wont to do with a TV show or movie. But there truly is a lot of comedic inspiration on the platform – evident from performers like Leo Gonzalez and Demarcus Shawn . While it is granted that the platform does offer up a lot of great comedic moments, what does the comedy experience look like from a bird’s-eye view? How is the platform as a vessel for comedy as a whole?  When considering TikTok as a way to deliver comedy, it is important to consider two key features – its user-based nature and its short-form medium. This grassroots quality gives TikTok the comedy advantage of being able to respond quickly to current events, as well as being levels of insightful/absurd that you might not find as frequently in more traditio

Comedy Spotlight: Dashie

Image by DashieGames via   YouTube Online trends that pop up when you are well into your 20s are oftentimes easy to judge. For me, a 90s millennial, these trends include the rise of YouTube personalities and channels, and within that, the rise of different types of YouTube channels. One thing that these trends have taught me is that I should not judge the context of a comedic personality – that is to say, funny people can parlay that funniness through any platform, so to judge them simply for the platform they choose is doing a disservice to the comedy. Put in this context, one YouTuber in particular has taught me not to judge YouTubing as a way to deliver the comedic goods – Dashie ! Dashie’s channel covers a variety of areas, including vlogs and sketches – your classic YouTube personality. However, his channel is primarily a gaming channel, wherein he plays a variety of games including horror, driving, and platform games. While this description covers a large part of what Dashie’s ch