There is nothing more painful than listening to a comic who isn't funny. It's common knowledge that I'm all about the laughter. I can find a chuckle even in the most disheartening situations. Tonight, was something else completely. Tonight, I sat through the worst comic routine I have ever witnessed before. I didn't laugh once. Not once. This was only made more terrible by the fact this was the headliner.
Right from the get go, I was unimpressed with the underwear act. It felt cheap and forced. Not to mention, the faces the man made grated on my nerves and his mere presence made me uncomfortable. My discomfort didn't come from the light he was shedding on the harsh truths of the world, or forcing me to confront my own demons. No, there was no harsh truths or demon confronting. In fact, he didn't tell a single new joke. Don't even get me talking about his impersonations. Horrible. Just horribly hopeless. And a waste of my time.
This was a free show, so I'm not going to rant too much, and the fact I didn't pay probably means I can't complain, but here I am. Disgruntled and dissatisfied. Because the first two comedians were actually very good, the situation swiftly turned unbearable. I expected laughter. For tears to stream down my face. I coveted the ache in my side. I wanted the gasping breaths and sigh of contentment after I ran out of chuckles. Alas, they did not come.
What is more confounding is that other people seemed to be enjoying him. Sure, the lady on my left, Miss Tiff, was in the same boat as I, but the sounds of merriment surrounded us. Baffled, I listened harder, my confusion growing by the minute. Maybe even second. Perhaps I was missing something. Maybe I simply wasn't getting the jokes. Could it be I was too tired to understand? Too cynical to find the hilarity? Too smart to enjoy the stupid?
Okay, fine, I do have a history of hating stupid humour. From Anchorman to Carrot Top, fart jokes to the Scary Movie movies, I can't stand cheap ploys for laughs. These slapstick, flat, boring characters who rely on loud noises and props to amuse only succeed in irritating and angering me. Bill Hicks and George Carlin didn't need such ploys to garner laughs. David Cross and Denis Leary have this down pat. There are even young up and comers, like Jeff Jefferies and Aziz Ansari who are delivering the gold, and amazing chicks like Wanda Sykes and Anjelah Johnson.
The childish, schoolyard jokes put the real art of stand-up to shame. Or maybe it's just not my cup of tea.