The cheap way to do it

People usually think of funny/scary the same way. If it's funny, it's funny. If it's scary, it's scary. But Bridesmaids Director Paul Feig talks about how there's a cheap way to get laughs/screams or a "true" way in this A.V. Club interview:

Our editor is full of quotes. Bill Kerr. He has his whole theory called “the angry villagers.” Which is basically if the movie starts out and the jokes aren’t funny or they aren’t laughing, they become angry villagers and they want to burn the whole town down. And we’re always like, “Okay this is an ‘angry villagers’ moment” where, like, two jokes in a row didn’t work and now people are going to start losing trust in us. Because that’s all you have at the end of the day as a filmmaker, is the trust of your audience.

You think the same way when you go see a drama or a horror movie or something and the director is just letting stuff like jump out at you and scare the shit out of you in like, a cheap way, then you’re like, “Okay, I don’t trust this director anymore, so I don’t trust this movie because it’s just going do easy shit to make me jump.” Then you almost don’t want to deal with it anymore if that’s not the experience you went for, but there’s a way to scare people, truly, or just be the little kid who hides in the laundry and scares the shit out of mom. And that’s a cheap way to do it.

Seems like dick jokes, cursing, pop culture references, etc. are standup's version of the little kid in the laundry. You may get laughs with 'em, but it's not the valuable kind.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I disagree. Dick jokes, pop culture references, and cursing can all be the basis of hilarious and deep jokes if they are done right. Most of the classic comics (Bill Hicks, Dave Chappelle, Richard Pryor, etc...) have used these topics and often done them brilliantly.

The fact is that most comedians are lazy in general and don't do anything interesting with these topics. Since these topics are so interesting to people, its easy to get a laugh with a lazy joke. To me, it's not the topic that matters, its what you do with it. Pop culture and people's dicks are good premises because they are things that people deal with every day. If you want to make jokes out of some esoteric topic nobody ever thinks about, then it probably won't be as funny.

There are tons of comics that do cheap pop culture/dick jokes, but their jokes would suck no matter what the topic was.

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