Tuesday, September 11, 2007
CAN WE LAUGH AT OURSELVES?
Tonight on The David Letterman Show Dave asked the audience if anyone had bought the new Rosie O'Donnell book (Celebrity Detox). No one clapped (the book doesn't come out until October 9th).
He then went on to say that the book contained three chapters on Bush.... and one on the President.
I laughed out loud. I hope not to offend my lesbian readers but funny is funny! I like gay humor.
You know.. like the OLDIE But GOODIE:
How many gays does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Two - One to screw it in and the other to say "Fabulous!"
I like humor that is pointed at a group and then exaggerates the hell out of the stereotypes associated with that group. Most humor is that way to some degree but in this age of political correctness we feel like we aren't evolved if we laugh at jokes that target a particular group, whether it be lesbians, gays, latins, blacks, jews, blondes, polish, etc, etc.
Growing up my mother's best friend was polish. She told the funniest "polack" jokes. We loved Chuchi (sp) Connie and her jokes and they didn't turn us into "polack bashers."
Over Labor Day weekend I was in a bar in Philadelphia. It was a very mixed bar. There were latins, blacks, gays, asians, you name it. On the television was a video of a comedian I had never seen - Lisa Lampanelli - and she is called "Comedy's Lovable Queen of Mean" because no one is safe from her jokes and there are few limits.
She claims to have a black boyfriend and loves black men, but lovingly trashes them along with everyone else. She picked out a asian man, a hispanic man, a black man, a jewish man and two guys she called fags throughout the night. No one was off limits, not even handicapped people, as she made comments to each of them playing to the typical age old stereotypes.
She was hilarious.
The next day I went to Amazon.com and purchased the video and had it shipped to my house. This past Friday we had guests over for drinks and I played the video for them. We all laughed our asses off, but it got me wondering.
Can we laugh at ourselves and the litany of stereotypes associated with each of us?
The group of friends I had over were slightly representative of the groups she tore into on the video. We had white, latin, gay and functionally handicapped (although everyone just thinks he is drunk). No one was offended by Lisa's routine.
I often hear black comedians making black jokes and hispanic comedians making fun of their latin families. God knows gay comics make gay jokes, but what about a white woman making black, latino, asian, gay, handicapped and geriatric jokes? Do we find it funny or do we look at this type of humor with disdain because it isn't politically correct. Have we lost our senses of humor? Or is it just not funny and hurts us?
A few nights before watching the Lisa Lampanelli video in Philadelphia my brother told me about seeing an Australian comedian in Scotland named Pam Ann. She dresses up in an flight attendant's uniform and makes airline and flight attendant jokes and she is beloved around the world by airline industry employees... okay, by the gays and flight attendants. I watched her myself and she was funny... funny making fun of people.
I challenge everyone to rent Lisa Lampanelli's "Take It Like A Man" video. Its irreverent and that's what we need these days - hell don't rent it, buy it (I think it was only $15) or are we so politically correct we Can't Laugh at Ourselves?
As a comedian, I'm hoping Rosie can laugh at herself and see the humor in David Letterman's joke.
Posted by Gpawilli at 10:48 PM