1. Brian Eno was interviewed on Sound Opinions. He said this about what he looks for in music:
If it's just clever or loud or has all the right software or something, I'm not that interested. I'm looking always for soul. If I'm not moved at that level, if I'm not feeling at some point that it's possible that this could move me to tears or to dancing or to something where I've slightly surrendered to it – if that doesn't happen, it just stays on the shelf. It's an experiment until then.
As applies to comedy: I think that's what the talk about stakes, emotional risks, authenticity, etc. comes down to. The search for soul. That someone is giving themselves to you a little bit.
2. Leonard Cohen said this while accepting an award recently:
As I grew older, I understood that instructions came with this voice. And the instructions were these...Never to lament casually. And if one is to express the great inevitable defeat that awaits us all, it must be done within the strict confines of dignity and beauty.
Never lament casually. If you're going to complain, make it beautiful. Part of why I like comedy so much: I think it's the most beautiful way to complain.