Saturday, February 03, 2007

She ain't that funny

Maybe I don't get it. But I watched the first episode of the Sarah Silverman Program and I failed to see the humor in it, except extremely occasionally and then all it got out of me was a feeble laugh. This article by Tad Friend in the New Yorker is kind of on the fence about her. Luckily for you, it tells you every joke on the show, so you don't actually have to see it. At times, the article's retelling makes it sound much funnier than it actually comes out in the program.
Outrageous humor is fine, as long as the performer is someone you like. Take Borat, for example. Part of his genius is that he is sweet and adorable, even when he is cruel and says horrid things to people.
Yet if it's an obnoxious, puerile, annoying grown woman who pretends to talk like a little girl it's very hard to want to stick around.
I think the culture is too much in the throes of smarmy humor. And smarmy humor overstays its welcome pretty fast. I used to comment on Gawker, for instance, but lately I find the meanness of the commenters a bit de trop, even for my taste. Luckily we still have comedians like Will Ferrell and Steve Carell who do not rely on smarminess, but on a far funnier and more winning combination of stupidity and charm and obliviousness, to make us laugh.

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