Sunday, June 21, 2015

Bill Maher the Comedy Czar

So what's Bill Maher's problem? Did you see this? Go on, click on it. It's about Bill Maher calling out some college student for responding to Jerry Seinfeld's comment for-hang on, this is complicated. I'll start at the beginning.
First, all this happened.
"What's the deal with campus?
I mean, there're no tents..."
Earlier this month, Jerry Seinfeld, who probably not coincidentally has a new show, went on an ESPN radio show to talk about sports or whatever. While conversing with host Colin Cowherd, Seinfeld opined that political correctness ruins comedy and that's why his fellow comedians tell him not to bother playing college campuses anymore. He feels that college-aged kids just like throwing around accusations of sexism and racism for the hell of it and that they don't know what they're talking about and they sure as hell don't know what's funny. So like, take that 18-22 year olds.

I'm just taking a stab in the dark here, but I'm guessing he doesn't play colleges anymore because kids born in the mid-to-late 1990's don't know who the hell he is.
I do know who he is and sometimes I think he's Matt Lauer. 
Men and women are different. This
fact is the basis for all hilarious jokes.
Anyway, Anthony Berteaux, a San Diego college student who writes for Huffington Post wrote an open letter challenging Seinfeld's broad assertion, arguing that college students can make the distinction between humor that deconstructs social ills like racism, sexism etc, and humor that reinforces them. It's not a prefect piece of writing; he wastes no time in dropping the word 'myriad' (a pet peeve of mine), and I don't think he's using the word 'muse' correctly, but he's writing for the Huffington Post so good on him.

I don't follow his show, is being
a dick kind of his thing?
However, Bill Maher is not one to stand idly by and watch his fellow comedian get called out by some twenty-year old kid who refuses to see the value of racist jokes:

"Stupid though I was in 1976, I wouldn't have presumed to lecture George Carlin on comedy."


-Bill Maher, picking on-wait a minute, is 
Jerry Seinfeld like, the new George Carlin?

I mean for real. Admittedly, most of Seinfeld's material that I'm familiar with comes from reruns of his old sitcom and being on network television, I'm sure it was relatively tame, but has he ever been edgy? I guess I always thought of him as observational humor and not say, bleeding edge social commentary. 
Parking garages. Am I right people?
Giving jump shot pointers to Stephen
Hawking on the other hand...
Maher goes on to rant: 

"Dear you little shit, I'm sure you're busy with your new letter explaining astrophysics to Stephen Hawking and giving jump shot pointers to Steph Curry, but try to get a clue."

Wow. Holy shit, right? Look, I think Seinfeld is funny. Sure, he's not my favorite or anything. I certainly wouldn't say he's what Stephen Hawking is to astrophysics or what Steph Curry is whatever sports thing she plays, but he's ok.

I think it's a generational thing. I was a teenager when he was a thing so I get him, but I think my parents probably find him funnier than I do. 20 year olds in college in 2015? Of course they're into different things. People's tastes are changing. It happens. It's not Anthony Berteaux's fault and it doesn't mean students are wrong, it just means they don't think Jerry Seinfeld's comedy is funny anymore. That's not actually a character flaw.
He once took twenty two minutes to tell a joke about how people
with accents are hard to understand. Twenty two goddamn minutes.

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