|Posted by Benjamin Adams on January 11, 2013 at 7:55 PM|
Growing up I LOVED comedy, I would watch hours of Frank Skinner, Jo Brand, Whose Line is it Anyway. Fist of Fun and even Joe Pasquale. I loved it all, I would stay up late on a friday night to watch Cheers, Friends and Frasier after I had watched Father Ted, Big Train, League of Gentlemen or Brass Eye. This is a tiny portion of the comedy I had access to growing up and maybe I'm just getting old but dear god it was good, well written, superbly performed and rehearsed. Nowadays I can barely sit through a "comedy" show without groaning.
Tv comedy is now panel shows starring sub par comedians or comedians hosting a new years eve chat show. UK sitcoms were revitalized with the like of "The Office" and whilst america took that format and went mad with it producing fantastic shows like Modern Family, Parks and Recreation and Curb Your Enthusiasm, we have gone back to 70's/80's style sitcoms with Miranda, Not Going Out and Mrs Brown Boys, all equally as terrible as each other. What the hell happened? The UK was once the home of comedy as a genre and others would look on in awe, now it's a fucking joke.
At least there's stand up right? that's the last bastion of real comedy. Nope, even that has been turned into a corporate conveyor belt for mediocrity, with the new wave of telly comedians such as Russell Howard, Russell Kane, John Bishop, Sarah Millican every twat now thinks he can be funny and do stand up. These telly comedians have their merits, they can write a fairly amusing joke and maybe back that joke up with a funny movement to really get the laughs but sadly they are comedians in the same way Rylan from the X-Factor is "talented"
As a comedian I LOVE gigging, the stormers and the deaths on stage are all part of the process and all I strive to do is get better and better at my chosen art form. This however is not the case for most people it seems. Stand up comedy is now something that'll get you on tv. If you are likeable and up to date with the latest fashion trends you could easily find yourself on 8 out of 10 Cats within 5 years. I can't really blame them for doing these kind of shows because they pay well and who doesn't want to be famous?
Me...I don't want to be "famous" I want to be the best stand up I can be. If that means that at the end of my career i'm playing to 100 people who love my stuff rather than thousands who love the material I've been forced to do to earn a living then I'm fine with that.
A "famous" tv comedian seems to have this journey but perhaps not in this order:- Do stand up for a few years, get paid gigs, do an hour at edinburgh, get signed, get pushed onto as many panel and "50 best.." shows as possible, maybe get your own show that's written for you by others, have a christmas dvd and repeat the last few steps until people are finally bored of you. No thanks i'd rather shoot myself now.
I'm not condemning the people that do this, because where else do you go? I'm complaining that THIS is comedy now, it's how you progress. When I started, the people headlining the gigs were people that I keep seeing on telly now, it's the natural order. I don't want to do any of that shit but I can't say I never would if offered because again, where else can you go!?
This is all reflected on facebook and twitter nowadays with new comedians all trying to out do each other with their status' "I smashed a gig tonight AND I've got a gig with up the creek opening 20 mins tomorrow and I'm gonna be on tv!" ..."well,,,I just got 4 stars for my edinburgh show by a reviewer that no one knows" Seriously EVERYONE seemed to get at least 4 stars in edinburgh, it's meaningless. As is all this boasting and two faced congratulating that everyone seems to be doing as well. I'm pretty sure no one got on The Royal Variety Performance because they kissed another comedians arsehole after winning The Cavendish Arms new act night.
I'm not saying posting an exciting thing now and again is wrong because we're all human and deserve the fun of telling our friends good news, but posting that good news on comedy forums or continuously updating us on every little victory is a little pathetic. As are new comedians or ANY comedian in fact, telling others "this is how you do comedy" everyone is different now fuck off.
All this said, I'm not going to be quitting any time soon and if comedians want to go on Mock The Week that's their choice, they might love the show, it's just not to my personal taste. My main problem is the "fame game" attitude comedians have now, rather than a deep love of stand up. Taking your clothes off in a magazine or booking well known acts to your night and then sucking their cock publicly on social media isn't the way to become a great comedian in my eyes but if it makes them happy who am I to say anything?
I'm just another dick head comedian thinking my opinion is the right one, but it isn't and neither is yours