Where Has All the Comedy Gone?

cat is being held. cat is glaring at the camera and looks hairless

There have been a few time recently where I’ve been almost desperate to laugh. On my hill up there on the Lost Coast, with my kids and husband visiting my mother in law, I did what most anyone (without streaming ability) would do – I reached for my satellite TV remote control and started cruising channels, trying to find something funny.

It was ridiculously easy to find something violent. Almost everything on is violent, and not just violent, but violent. Like, in every sense of the word – psychologically violent, physically violent, spiritually violent. Our culture is draped in violence (and some wonder why we’ve got the shooting problem?!), and any quick stroll through the TV guide makes that crystal clear.

But this post isn’t about that. I don’t want to talk about that because it reminds me of how Dana died.

I want to talk about laughing.

I want to laugh. I want to have those huge laughs that make me cry and my stomach ache.

So I went to Comedy Central (satellite TV comes with cable) and it was boring and stupid. Same with the shows that were on MTV and other channels that were supposed to be funny. They weren’t. Watching something that’s supposed to be funny and isn’t makes me all kinds of annoyed.

I ended up wandering over to Roseanne – the early shows – because those are guaranteed to make me laugh at some point, even if I’ve already seen them all before. Then I found Tracy Ullman and that got a few laughs, same with the Graham Norton Show. That was it, though – I don’t remember if I ran out of time because the kids and Mikey came home (that’s probably what happened) or I just got tired of trying to find something funny so I settled for a movie from the 80’s (no wait, that’s what happened!).

Seriously real though: what the heck?! Why are we choosing all this gun shit over a good laugh? How did that even happen? Where did all the funny people go? I miss them.

In the meantime, the election is happening tomorrow – no joke – and so long as Hillary wins, maybe I’ll be able to relax with my remote control and review stuff from this past few months that will be funny with perspective? The Martha Stewart & Snoop Dogg Show also looks promising.

Tell me what makes you laugh on TV right now.

Thanks

Meriah
Meriah Nichols is teacher and artist who lives in a yurt off the grid. She is deaf, has 3 kids (one with Down syndrome) and a lot of chickens. She writes about travel, disability, and getting dishes done. She likes her tea Earl Grey and hot.
Meriah

@meriahnichols

#deaf mom, teacher & #disability activist, living in a yurt #offthegrid. 3 kids (1 with #downsyndrome), a camera and a lot of chickens. Never a dull moment
Stream of consciousness from the Little Yurt on the Big Hill on the Lost Coast https://t.co/b3DNpvK4a3 https://t.co/qiIfLd57ET - 1 hour ago
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9 Comments

  • There’s nothing on tv right now that makes me laugh, but on Netflix, there’s Parks and Rec, The Good Guys, 3rd Rock from the Sun, and How I Met your Mother.

    Also, my movie that saves me from despair is Three Amigos. Not a serious moment in that thing. Just stupid, fun laughs.

    • THANK YOU for reminding me of the Three Amigos. I loved that!!! I think some of those shows on Netflix are on TV – pretty sure How I Met Your Mother and 3rd Rock are – I’ll see if I can find them and record. Thanks Clara – xoxo

  • Have you watched “The Middle”….find it quite funny and very on point! Also watching re-runs of Tim Allen’s “Home Improvement”

  • Come to think of it, most stuff produced and marketed to be funny isn’t necessarily funny. agree that there is altogether too much violence on TV, used as a means to sell stuff.

    Since I don’t have a TV, I’m at a loss to discuss what current sitcoms are genuinely funny. I have a few favorites among the movies I’ve seen. (Wracking my brains.) I’m partial to the “stateroom scene” in the Marx Brothers’ classic, “A Night at the Opera.”

    The Israeli movie “Ushpizin” (“Guests.” 2004) is considered a classic. Just before the week-long fall-harvest festival of Sukkot, Moshe, a Chassidic man in not-very-cozy financial circumstances, receives a windfall that enables him to buy a gorgeous, fabulously expensive esrog (fragrant citron; it looks like an oversized, wrinkled lemon) for the holiday. (Esrogs are carried and held during certain prayers, and fine ones are prized. When they’re not being used, they’re carefully wrapped in flax and kept in simple or ornate boxes.) Moshe is soon treated to a surprise visit from two escaped convicts, acquaintances from his scruffy pre-religious past. And one of the jailbreakers helpfully makes a salad while their host and hostess are out, and slices up the prize esrog, mistaking it for a lemon. And Moshe has an issue with anger, too.

    I should add that the wife, Malli (played by the lead actor’s real-life wife), is a splendid character. Real presence.

    I don’t know how popular this has been to those unfamiliar with the holiday or Israeli films, but I believe that it has universal appeal. It’s about faith, hope, and miracles. And it does have English subtitles. I found the plot twist hilarious.

  • I just don’t like comedy. It’s funny for a short while, then not so much. I know you loved Grace and Frankie, but I also really liked Broad City (it’s crude and funny girl humor), and am enjoying Insecure (on HBO, by the writer/comedienne that did Awkward Black Girl), I love Tig Notaro (stand up), I think you would love her too.

    I think Blackish and Off the Boat might be worth watching.

    How about Ugly Betty? Did you ever watch that? That’s pretty sweet, I think you would like it. . .

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