Monday, July 31, 2006

Sit-down (and roll) Comedy

So: my knees hurt sometimes. Do I have arthritis? Probably. Am I too young? I should be. Do my knees hurt anyway? Ten-four. So: I'll probably be crippled by the time I'm 50. Now: can I make fun of cripples now, in anticipation of my own eventual crippledom? Or do I have to grin and bear it until I finally get my training wheels?

As an aspiring stand-up comedian, questions like this plague my thoughts. And I think the answer may lie in proximity. Your ability to get away with a joke has to do with how close you are to the subject of the joke. I can't say the N-word. This is because I am not black and I'm not a racist. If you want to say the N-word: you must be black. There are exceptions but, for the sake of argument, let's ignore them.

Ok, back to proximity: in 1956, if you wanted to make a joke about the Holocaust you probably had to be Jewish. Now anyone can make a joke about the "final solution." Sure, there are still those who gasp but I have a name for those people: fags. Once again, I'm forced back into the ouroborus. Can I say fag? I'm not gay. Sometimes people assume I'm gay because I have gorgeous hair and I read books...But I'm not. So, I probably can't say fag. Well, I take that part back.

Biggie's first album was Ready to Die. And his second album was Life After Death. And he died. So if I have a comedy album called Ready to Roll that features me in a wheelchair on the cover: will I be thought of as a prophet and a genius? Or as a dickweed? Does a prophecy fulfilled that leaves the prophet crippled but alive still result in the prophets martyrdom? A martyr has to die, right?

Let me go ahead and complicate an already complicated subject: I don't really have any jokes about the handicapped. Not any good ones at least. But: if my probable cripple-ality allows me to make any joke I want about the legless or lamelegged, then I'm willing to write a few. It's quite a conundrum I've conjured up for myself.

I'll make it a little worse: what if I plan on being crippled and they end up curing cripple-ation in 2019? Not only am I a dickweed, I'm an ultra fuckwad. Then I'm the worst example of a bygone age when people made fun of other people because they were different. Me is to Cripples as Birth of a Nation is to blacks. Youch! I definitely don't want that.

Ok, back to proximity. I can make jokes about cancer because my father died of cancer: AND he was over forty years older than me WHEN he died of cancer: SO if I'm going to be crippled in forty years than I can make fun of cripples now. RIGHT? Or wrong? Maybe we'll never know.

1 Comments:

At 9:01 AM, Anonymous Taylspin said...

Hey Wolf, you're pretty funny. I would love to see the cover of that album - Ready to Roll. How do you get into stand up? Do you have cajones of steel, or just a partially deaf ear that prevents you from hearing boos and shouts of "get off the stage!" My dad died of cancer as well- does that mean I can make it in comedy too, or do I have to make fun of myself, like when I was molested by my stepdad? Maybe I'll never know!

 

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