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View Full Version : Why don't people understand good comedy?


VanHammersly42
02-13-2004, 02:27 AM
So i went over to my friend's apartment for a little gathering last weekend. Of course i decided to try and expose some people to Mr. Show while at the party. We watched some episodes of Family Guy, which granted is a very funny show, but not on the same level as Mr. Show. After Family Guy, we decided to pop in season three of Mr. Show. I thought a good one to put on would be the "Grin n' Bear it" episode. Nobody got any of the jokes! It was like they were trying to understand a program on CSPAN or something. After a while I just gave up. The kicker to the story is that right after the episode finished one of the guys suggested..."Hey, lets put on Undercover Brother!" I actually felt like laughing, puking, and crying all at the same time. It was quite uncomfortable. Undercover Brother??? What the Fuck??!!!

keepthechaaange
02-13-2004, 11:41 AM
that's why mr. show has such a cult following; you either get it or you dont.

none of my friends like mr. show either. smart humor isnt for everyone, especially idiots.

VanHammersly42
02-13-2004, 01:23 PM
I totally agree with you on that point. I thought it was more of a funny story than anything. The cast always talk about extras and friends of their's that just dont get the joke. I think I found out just how they must have felt. I'm sure they probably felt worse since it was their material.

ProfessorMurder
02-13-2004, 08:32 PM
There are some people out there that just don't like anything that's introduced to them for the simple fact that they didn't discover it themselves. If you introduce Mr. Show to people like that, you might as well hit eject before you push play.

MrRichardSmoker
02-15-2004, 06:41 AM
ive had the same experience many times....people dont understand stream of conciousness, and the metaphors...in my experience, the 1st episode is good to start so people understand the flow of the show. it takes a good 3-4 shows for generic comedy fans to like it. family guy does rule, and alot more accessible to people who don't really "get" sketch comedy these people probably loved Mad tv for god sakes

dane atkinson
02-16-2004, 09:26 AM
its pretty easy to understand......remember the episode with when bob was the great philouza??? well, john explains it in that episode......he basically says, what people dont understand scares them, so the things that they do like are pretty basic, simple, and downright moronic....actually, if i recall correctly, the whole episode is about how their show doesnt appeal to the majority of the public, because it is too smart for most people, and like i said, if people dont understand something, they are usually afraid of it.....thats why that guy wanted to watch undercover brother...it was a movie that he could understand, and feel comfortable watching...

Epsilon
02-18-2004, 11:20 PM
I won't even play Mr. Show for any of my friends. I already know they wouldn't get it because most of them like Martin Lawrence, Damon Wayans, and crap like that.

So I enjoy my Mr. Show DVDs alone. In a way I really want to share the show with everyone because I think it's brilliant and hilarious. But all that would happen is they wouldn't get it, they'd get bored, then they'd question my sh*tty sense of humor for thinking it was so great.

Fruitsnake
02-19-2004, 06:34 PM
It can be frustrating, but find comfort in the knowledge that your taste in comedy is a step above others.

Janeane Garafalo (sp?) once said in Entertainment Weekly that regular people don't deserve Mr. Show. Elitist yes, but I tend to agree.

JuanBallsac
02-20-2004, 02:50 AM
hey vanHammersly,

you ought track down this fellow who enjoys the undercover brother and cut his penis. I will stand in back ground and sip fine liquor from my emerald goblet, while over seeing goings on.

VanHammersly42
02-20-2004, 02:31 PM
Originally posted by JuanBallsac
hey vanHammersly,

you ought track down this fellow who enjoys the undercover brother and cut his penis. I will stand in back ground and sip fine liquor from my emerald goblet, while over seeing goings on.


Yeah...Can you make that two emerald goblets? Some drunk asshole, who's not even my friend but a friend of a friend, broke mine at one of my Sex in the City parties. How Robert Downey Junior!

VanHammersly42

It'sSoGreat
02-28-2004, 04:09 PM
Someone actually said to me the other day ... "Wasn't that on HBO, like YEARS ago? You still like it?"

Stabby
02-28-2004, 07:50 PM
Duh dude. :rolleyes: Didn't you stuff is only cool if it's new?

I'm lucky enough to have friends that share my sense of humour. On most things... I still have a hard time getting some of them to like things like Neil hamburger and Bloodsucking Freaks. But we are in agreement on Mr. Show and similar comedy.

agent_PUNT
03-05-2004, 03:16 PM
I made the mistake of telling people that Mr. Show is hilarious before they have ever seen it. When you tell a group of peole that something is funny they automatically start thinking to themselves "oh it's probably really funny like American Pie or American Pie 2". I have discovered that most people don't like their notion of "comedy" to be challenged. People want to think American Pie was classic. If they admitted that it was garbage with bad ideas and bad characters, their whole world would collapse. I don't want to come across sounding elitist... am I making any sense?

waffle
03-05-2004, 04:04 PM
Its all true! I learned these things the hard way. When I discovered mr. show, everyone around me seemed to love it. I lived in a co-op which was populated by my favorite type of people, good natured miscreants. We all loved Mr. show and spent many an hour watching bootleg VCDs. When I moved away I realized I was in a little bubble of decent comedy appreciation. most people I show my dvds to now are confused and dont laugh at half the jokes, especially not the best ones... siighhh...

sizzlingsteaks
03-09-2004, 09:06 AM
I never showed any of my friends all the Mr. Show tapes that I have. I don't think they will get it. Do you guys think that the Season I & II DVD is a good present to give to a friend to get them hooked?

duandsku
03-09-2004, 10:15 AM
Undercover Brother isn't all bad. It has a few pretty smart jokes in it. The thing you probably dislike about it is the amount of more juvenile and obvious jokes that are in it as well. If those jokes make you not see any of the brighter material (my favorite is it's wonderful sense of anticlimaticism), then you're probably a comedy elitist. I don't think being an elitist is a good thing, I like to recognize a good joke for what it is, and not dislike it just because I didn't like some other jokes that surround it.

I think there are many different kinds of comedy, different kinds of smart comedy. I think Zoolander and The Royal Tenenbaums are just as smart as Mr. Show, but there seems to be a lot of people here that write them off as being bad and shitty. To me, those people don't understand good comedy, just specific kind of comedy. And although Mr. Show has a lot of smart jokes in it, it isn't always smart, and it certainly isn't flawless. It has this smug happy pat-its-self-on-the-back feeling much more than most mainstream comedy. It tries not to let the unitiated in on the joke. I was the first Mr. Show fan I've known, but I've gotten so many people into the show. Most of them didn't like the first episode either, but they soon got it.

I'd suggest not showing Mr. Show or any other sketch comedy to a roomful of people that have never seen it before. Sketch comedy always has to take time to get used to, and if there's 5 people in a room and only 1 person gets it, everyone will have such a bad opinion of it.

I'm not going to challenge your friends if they only like The Family Guy and Undercover Brother, though. They probably do have really bad taste in comedy.

agent_PUNT
03-09-2004, 10:59 AM
Good points. My only problem is when I end up watching a hollywood comedy and you only get 3-5 good, smart scenes and I wonder "why is this catching on so much, when really smart funny stuff isn't?" I haven't seen Zoolander so I wont comment on that, but I saw "Head of State" (Chris Rock) and I couldn't believe how terrible it was. It had to be a studio decision to kill that movie, because Chris Rock has been doing killer material for years that could have played in to that movie. But it wasn't there. The studio's wont push smart it seems.

On a funny side note, I was on Amazon looking at Run Ronnie Run and it said at the bottom. "If you like this we recommend..." or whatever... and the movie they recommended? It was "Bringin' Down the House". And I think if you bought that threw in "Bringin' Down The House 2: Marci X"

agent_PUNT
03-09-2004, 11:17 AM
Originally posted by sizzlingsteaks
I never showed any of my friends all the Mr. Show tapes that I have. I don't think they will get it. Do you guys think that the Season I & II DVD is a good present to give to a friend to get them hooked?

I'd start your friend off with David Cross's CD before the show. If they are into his stand-up it would probably be easier to introduce the show. Honestly, I think either would be an awesome gift, but I don't think you want to overwhelm them.
For example; you never give heroin to a baby unless you know they already like heroin right? Well it's the same with Bob and David. (*note, don't give heroin to babies, it's just a metaphor)

Painscape
03-09-2004, 12:47 PM
Originally posted by Epsilon
I won't even play Mr. Show for any of my friends. I already know they wouldn't get it because most of them like Martin Lawrence, Damon Wayans, and crap like that.


My friends don't understand Mr.Show either so i know what your saying
but I like Martin Lawrence's Standup and still like Mr.Show
so what are you talking about saying its crap
i'm guessing you don't like richard pryor or eddie murphy's old stuff either

VanHammersly42
03-09-2004, 04:27 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by duandsku
[B]Undercover Brother isn't all bad. It has a few pretty smart jokes in it. The thing you probably dislike about it is the amount of more juvenile and obvious jokes that are in it as well. If those jokes make you not see any of the brighter material (my favorite is it's wonderful sense of anticlimaticism), then you're probably a comedy elitist. I don't think being an elitist is a good thing, I like to recognize a good joke for what it is, and not dislike it just because I didn't like some other jokes that surround it.

The main idea that I was trying to get across was that the experience of watching an episode of Mr. Show with friends and seeing that they just didnt get it was frustrating. I wanted them to be exposed to something great that I had to find on my own. Responding to the end of the show by acting like they just sat through a boring lecture angered me. I have now stopped trying to expose people to the show on purpose and pretty much keep it to myself. I guess if a comedy elitist is defined as a person that values a genre of comedy that is done in a smart, witty and unique way and doesn't see the point in laughing at something that is not nearly on the same level, then sure, I guess you could lump me into that general category. And also, what is wrong with being a comedy elitist anyway? I think people associate the term with being a jerk or asshole. I'm not a jerk, I'm just passionate about what Mr. Show stood for and how they created something that wasn't just another over-edited, cue card read, unoriginal sack of shit. But, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

duandsku
03-10-2004, 06:00 AM
Yes, good points, good points.

I guess I should mainly just say that I believe most people that like comedy can understand Mr. Show. But no one I've shown Mr. Show to have liked it from the first episode, not even the people I have gotten really, really into the show.

If you want people to understand it, watch it with just one friend, or watch it with a couple other people that like it and a couple people that don't understand it. Trying to convince an entire room full of people something is funny is always a tough sell, as they'll look at each other, realize no one else is laughing, and rebel against that style of comedy. Sometimes you have to be a little manipulative to make people like the comedy you do.

The biggest thing about getting my friends to like Mr. Show was talking about the concepts while not watching it. Like, asking someone if there was anything that they liked, and then talk about it. That's the way Mr. Show was for me. I'd show it to someone who would laugh a little, and then later, I'd say if they liked anything from it. Then we would talk about what they liked, and I would point out how much more depth to the joke there was than what they expected, and Eureka! They understand. I'm kind of manipulative, but I have since gotten all of my friends to think they're even bigger Mr. Show fans than I am (but, I know the truth...mwa ha ha ha ha)

gerald hennessy
03-10-2004, 04:41 PM
.

agent_PUNT
03-16-2004, 03:36 PM
quick story about the first person I ever showed Mr. Show to. This was back when it first came out and each episode was new. I told my girl friend how great it was. She isn't very bright so I was kind of scared.

Anyways, one night we were flipping around and Mr. Show came on. I was like "okay, we have to watch this, and you will love it!"

So we're watching and no big reaction from her. Then comes on the skit where we find out that when Albert Einstein was young his father touched him. This didn't go over well, seeing as how my friend was molested as a child by her father.

Uncomfortable.


Looking back now, I laugh. And get horny.

I don't think anyone can top that for the worst Mr. Show conversion attempt of all time!

VanHammersly42
03-16-2004, 03:45 PM
I don't think anyone can top that for the worst Mr. Show conversion attempt of all time! [/B][/QUOTE]

Touche...You definitely win this round.