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    The Comedy News For 01/21/18

    Specific News Story

    Whitney Cummings: Comedy Needs To Grow Up

    Matt Claybrooks, Anthony Browning, Deirdre Richards, Earl Skakel, Bernadette Batts, Dana Snow, Grant Cotter, Jeremy Paul, Michael Batts, Cash Levy, Tracie Walker, Chris Adams, Johnny Gold, Kerry Anrold Stevens, Richard Weiss, Ari Shaffir, Eric Edwards, Rosie Tran, Kris Rubio, Rob Twohy and myself. This is the short list of comics that could do an hour set that doesn’t sound as contrived or hack-eyed as Whitney Cummings: Money Shot which aired on Comedy Central last night. Before I start this essay, I went into the special with an open mind. I really wanted to like Cummings. Here’s why I felt offended watching the show. From the opening line, “How do you turn on a guy? He’s a guy.” I felt like virtually every line, every response, every tag and every call back was something I had seen done better by one hundred other comics ten years ago.

    Here are some gems, that I bet you've never heard before. I don’t have to turn on a man, I have a vagina. That’s gold. You want me to roll play a stripper? You want me to be emotionally unavailable, and take your money? That's silver, at least. Guys love their balls. Newsflash, they’re disgusting. Newsflash, by now I wanted to shoot myself in the face. The fact that Comedy Central airs this garbage means the lowest common denominator in comedy will always have an audience. I recognize Cummings is attractive and likeable. But I know so many comics who could have done twice as much time with so much more original material.

    Money Shot almost plays like a transcript of hack punchlines and hack ideas. And they way Cummings raises her voice on the setups giving me the, “I’m so excited to share this new idea,” with every worn-out joke from 1989 aggravates me even more. I can deal with someone who’s learning to be funny, until they’re excited about material that shouldn’t work. Seriously, men’s balls look like they’re 150 years old? So we should put some sunscreen on them. Did you actually ask why balls are wet? You do realize that’s how men pee? Now, I want to shoot your audience too. But what’s even more frustrating is hearing comments like, “Women are emotional ninjas.” Okay, that was one good line. And then, watching cummings follow it with why women who use the silent treatment aren’t pissing off men. Thanks, I saw Kill Bill: Volume One too.

    Quentin Tarantino is one hell of a comedian if you ask me.

    In the 1980s, the two drink minimum helped kill comedy clubs. You’re selling comedy and trying to make your money off drinks. The only reason you do that, is because the comedy isn’t good enough to sell tickets. That’s the club’s fault. Comedy clubs are too focused on short term solutions. That's where bad-bringer shows come from. Put ten people in the line up who draw five friends and you will have a packed house. However, odds are you'll also have a bad show. And, anyone in the audience will probably never come back. The original open mics were not about finding great up-and-coming talents. Clubs wanted comics to bring five friends. If forty comics did that at an open mic, the club would be packed. Surprise, most comics don’t have friends, and if they do it’s usually other comics. If clubs actually had open mics with great comics, even the open mics would draw, given time. Who wouldn't want to see the next Chirs Rock for free? What they don't want to see is the next Bob Saget 38 times in a row. Would you?

    In the short run, comedy clubs almost never focus on the quality of the art they present. In the long run, what happens is specials like Money Shot create a new generation of viewers who say, “I don’t find comedy that funny anymore.” Guess what, that's why the best comedians will be playing a coffee house tonight instead of wasting their time at the Potluck at the Comedy Store.

    Yes miss Cummings, you can piss a guy off by interrupting sports. That’s never been done before. You know what else has never been done before, close that brilliant bit on interrupting ESPN with the line, “Eventually he’ll get so frustrated he’ll shoot himself in the face.” Oh wait, you were going to throw in the all-too-similar line, "It means we woman about to stab you in the neck," after the commercial break. I don’t get so upset that bad comedy exists. What upsets me is how much good comedy is passed up for it. One of the key debates in comedy is are women as funny as men? The answer to that question is hell yes. When I first saw comics like Rita Rudner, I was in awe. She was beautiful, funny and quick. I like strong women, that stand up for themselves and haven’t built acts on how all men are assholes, for much the same reason that women get tired of men whose act centers on their vagina in a destructive way.

    I get it, you got hurt. Now, grow up.

    So, to watch Cummings do lines like, “you find a girl at a bar, take her home, she takes off the high heels and she’s a gnome,” is like watching a cleverly disguised midget joke wrapped in a hack setup. Seriously, the girl was more attractive at the bar. I knew that already. I also knew alcohol makes ugly people pretty, that hangovers usually follow and you’ll wake up next to some troglodyte thinking, “My God what did I do last night?” That progression of thought stopped being original in 1989.

    If you’re lucky enough to get a Comedy Central special, can we at least take comedy forward a few years, instead of taking it backwards two decades.

    Here’s a short list of some other premises from Money Shot: Women snoop; men lie; women don’t like porn; men are cheap; monogamy is unnatural, and so are fake tits. Women don’t pay. And, they will start an arguement with men before men so much as open their mouth. I was waiting for you to tell my why women go to the bathroom together and how much it aggravates you that men leave the toilet seat up. Thank you for not leaving out how insecure men have small dicks. Here's the bottom line: You will not get loyal patrons to clubs with bad, worn out comedy. You can’t make up the lost revenue of booze, if there’s nobody there to buy drinks in the first place. They came for the comedy, not the five dollar cokes. In all honesty, they came for the comedy, in spite of the five dollar cokes. If the best you can offer is someone who’s best line is, “men, you can make copies, so what, women can make people,” followed by the brilliant observation men wake up with erections you’re only offering them an outdated show.

    People grow; comedy needs to grow up too.

    Posted August 22, 2010 by Shayne Michael under Editorial / Accessed 1182 times.

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