It’s Funny Because It’s True
Comedy is the adult version of playing with your imagination, and stand up comedians are the front line soldiers of the art form. There’s something special about the ability to make people laugh, to even enter that space with serious intention to perform. All comedians bomb, it’s part of the experience at some point in the journey. Yet still they enter the coliseum, why?
Because joy is an energy the collective is lacking. The more organic laughter per human the better, so it’ll always be so. Humans need reasons to laugh, reminders that life can be fun.
The joke is the high powered sniper rifle of comedy, the weapon used to kill. But what makes something funny? A mixture of context and truth. If you can frame an unpopular truth in such a way that it disarms the crowd, you’ve done your medium proud as a comic. It’s funny because it’s true. As Patrice O’Neal once said to Dane Cook…
“You know man, you can’t fuck with the truth. Be the truth, always.” Patrice also spoke to the fact that the idea of comedy is 50 people should be laughing, and 50 should be horrified. Not everyone likes dirty club comics, some people are put off by truth. That’s why they call it the harsh or brutal truth. That’s why “you can’t handle the truth”. And that’s fine, not everyone can get it.
Never be afraid of your attempt. If it misses, you were just trying it on. Who said that? Move on. None of us are close to perfect, and no one likes to admit their flaws directly. Assume them. You aren’t righteous enough to feign offense at my dead baby joke, and the west is the best. Free speech is an unalienable right because the idea behind it is the truth. Humans need discourse, the ability to communicate, and the right to be sinners without apology. It’s how we connect, and it’s how we move forward.
It’s funny because it’s true