There's no other artform that depends as much on the audience as comedy. If the audience doesn't do its job, a comic can't succeed.
Other kinds of artists don't have to deal with this. Monet was never like, "Man, I really want to paint some water lilies today. I hope those fuckers bring a canvas. And hold it steady."
Even the best painter in the world can't paint if there's no canvas. And when you're starting out, a lot of audiences don't give you any canvas. They're more like a napkin. So you've just gotta turn that napkin into a canvas. Picasso that shit. 'Cuz Picasso could make anything into art. Picasso: "What do you got? A napkin, a cigarette box, and a trombone. Ok, here." And he'd collage that crap into something great. He was like the Macgyver of fucking art.
Comics need instant approval from the audience. Monet didn't have to start painting yellow and then turn around and be all "Hey, did ya like that? Was that good?" He didn't need a bunch of random fuckers to say, "Yes, we agree with yellow! Yellow amuses us! Continue!" Or he'd put in some green and there'd be a bunch of people who are all silent, "Hmm, we're not sure about green. It's too soon for green."
And Monet never had to worry about bombing. If he did, I wonder if he'd just take the easy way out: "Fuck, they don't like water lilies or landscapes. I know, I'll paint a dick. Everyone can relate to dicks."
Sandpaper Suit is NYC standup comic Matt Ruby's (now defunct) comedy blog. Keep in touch: Sign up for Matt's weekly Rubesletter. Email email@example.com.
Why comedy is different than painting
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Encore Matt Ruby Encore! This is the best comedy blog, ever! Now if my work neighbor could just shut her drawer so i don't have to look at her Disposable Nursing Pads.
Very interesting blogs, but even a canvas art painter must be a good sense of humor also.
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