Well, I think, how much of their humanity is being made available. That is the emotional risk of it. It’s how much of that person, how much of their heart is involved. It’s like watching Pryor. Everyone talks about Pryor, but the reason Pryor was so exceptional was you felt a real visceral sense that he was taking emotional risks. That his vulnerability was genuine. And I think that’s at the heart of great comedy...
There are plenty of clowns. There are plenty of people who are spectacles. I think people love spectacle. So I think success is not judged or decided by how much people put their vulnerability or sensitivity into something. People like train wrecks. People like things blowing up. It’s just a school of thought. It’s a different way of engaging the craft. It’s just a preference, really. And I think in comedy, people who are too sensitive and too vulnerable are more likely to crash and burn than become great successes.
So great comedy is about taking emotional risks, but you're more likely to crash and burn if you do it. Pick your poison.
Permalink | 8/11/2011