I think it's true for standup too. Are you arguing something that everyone in the room already agrees with? Then who cares? And how funny is it if everyone already feels the same way?
I'd much rather hear you defend something horrible. Or something that everyone is on the other side of. At least then you'll be interesting. And that tension is a lot more likely to result in something funny.
I love during this set when CK says, "What other terrible things to defend?" (about 7:40 in). It comes in between him defending terrorists and explaining when it's ok to rape someone. Yeah, sounds terrible on paper. But that's why it's funny.
Along the same lines, Chris Rock says offending people is part of being an artist:
"Somebody should always be offended," Rock says. "Somebody in your life should always be like, 'Why did you have to do that?' Always. That's just being a real artist. That's the difference between Scorsese and Disney."
Maybe I like that idea so much because of how little I respect people who get offended. What is that even about? If someone says something that's wrong, then they're wrong. That means they're stupid and why would you get worked up about that? Just pity their foolishness.
And if they say something that's true, then, well, it's true. You may not like it but it's the truth so what can you do about it? If you get offended by the truth, life must be a real pain in the ass. Either way, being offended seems silly.
Permalink | 10/27/2009