How mean and vulnerable need each other

Funny = Money is a look at comedy manager Peter Principato. He says, “You have to get yourself out there. You have to make your little YouTube videos. You have to write things yourself instead of waiting for a real Hollywood writer to come along and write you a vehicle.”

One interesting bit from it is the talk about All in the Family. According to Principato, what made Archie Bunker work was his vulnerability/humanity. That's why he could "go there" on race and other stuff the way no one else on TV had up to that point.

In the show, [Rob] Riggle aims to play a Bill O’Reilly-like newscaster, a conservative blowhard with a tremendous ego in the vein of Ted Baxter, from “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” Principato said the network was concerned about the central character’s likability. He didn’t seem vulnerable enough. Riggle was ready to adapt, but worried about overcompromising. “I think we need to defend a little,” he said. “You know, you could always count on Sam Malone, Woody and Norm from ‘Cheers’ to be themselves. You could always count on Coach to be Coach. You could always count on those characters. Frank Burns was always going to be Frank Burns. . . . ”

Principato interrupted. “But Frank Burns wasn’t the lead in the show.” He cited Archie Bunker, from “All in the Family.” Bunker was a chauvinistic, racist, irascible bully, but his comeuppances were so severe and so frequent, you were always reminded of his frailties.

Riggle’s eyes got a bit misty. “Remember when he got locked in the basement with Meathead and he told the ‘Shoe-Booty’ story?”

Principato laughed. The story was about how poor Bunker had been as a kid — he had to wear one shoe and one boot to school, and the other kids teased him: Shoe-Booty.

Riggle continued. “I cried — I was a kid then, but — that was good stuff.”

Principato pressed his point. “Yeah. So . . . it had the humanity. I think that’s what it was. And I don’t think Hardaway — we didn’t show enough of his humanity. You know what I mean?”


If you want to be dark/mean/edgy/etc, ya better also get it back in some way that makes you seem vulnerable too.

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