Where did My Laughter Go?

File:"Never Series" of postcards no. 100, Raphael Tuck & Sons' Dry Humor  (NBY 7976).jpg - Wikimedia Commons

When has it all changed so much, and why did I not get the memo? When has stand up comedy become so vulgar? When did they start to name the THINGS you should not name excessively and so openly?

It all started with Amy Schumer a while back. She was a rising star on the comedy sky and finally, one night – long after the rest of the world had already known her- my husband and I decided to watch one of her stand-up routines.

We dimmed the lights, got comfortable and looked forward to a heavy round of laughter. We listened to her talk about used ladies’ panties, which I found disgusting. An invisible audience laughed and applauded, we were quiet. We listened some more and I waited for my husband to chuckle or laugh -nothing. He too was quiet, neither one of us connected to Amy Schumer or her comedy routine.

“I don’t find her funny, just vulgar,” I said and my husband nodded. We turned her off, because she turned us off. We never watched her again. It’s like a bad dinner in a restaurant. All it takes in one lousy meal and you never go back.

I love the ‘sexy’ in comedy. Talk about marriage, love, dating, lady parts and man parts and all the beautiful interactions human beings encounter, but don’t NAME it all the time. The sexy typos and autocorrects are like the cherry on top of the ice-cream for me. They make me roar with laughter, yet the overuse of the words PUSSY or DICK doesn’t make me laugh. It’s like staring at Jennifer Lopez’s half-naked body in a dress that reveals too much. You don’t enjoy it, you’re just staring, wondering about her taste. Less is more my friend! Less is more!

For me, imagination is the key! Don’t give me too much detail, don’t gross me out! I can think and add two and two together, even if the result might be three -at least I could WORK on it.

Our one-night-stand with Amy Schumer is long history. I am sure she doesn’t need us to be part of her fan group, and we can live happily ever after without her.

Still, sometimes, especially after a hard week, we just want to relax and laugh.

Next on the list. Kevin Hart! We both like him, he is a funny guy and his new stand-up routine during the COVID lockdown sounded like it could be a treat.

Same scenario. We dimmed the lights and invited Kevin Hart into our home. It started good, we laughed. Not the belly laugh I hoped for, but good enough. The story about his daughter’s boyfriends -hilarious. Kevin Hart and the Wal-Mart greeter -priceless. Then he turned it up a notch, and we turned it down.

He didn’t leave a DICK’ ens unturned. He went on and on. DICK’s and BJ’s left and right and we stopped laughing. Life around us got our attention. We paused Kevin for a bit, gave the dogs a treat, got us something to drink and then, finally back in the living room, we didn’t even talk about it, we just put something else on. We never finished watching his show.

Perhaps this kind of comedy is for the younger generations and my husband and I just can’t adjust? Maybe we are too old for today’s stand-up comedy routines? The words OLD-FASHIONED and CONSERVATIVE come to my mind and I flinch inside. Me? Never! Or am I?

I have European roots. I might have been seen on a nude beach. I might have enjoyed sunbathing topless, which is no big deal over there. I don’t easily faint and I am not afraid to talk about every subject that comes to mind. Yes, I dare to call myself open-minded.

Then why can’t I laugh about the new style of comedy routines? Am I turning into my Grandma and if so, what’s next? Will I shake my head about today’s music, and frown when I see piercings and other things my mind cannot comprehend?

Just when I thought we would never laugh about a comedian again, along came Michael McIntyre. We dimmed the lights, enjoyed the show -belly laughs and all. We had a good time!

So it’s not us, it’s them. We have a standard that we refuse to lower. It’s that simple. In the future, some comedians just won’t get invited in our home anymore.

Here is a short introduction, in case you don’t know Michael McIntyre. Not a comedy routine, but a short clip from the Graham Norton show, which happens to be one of my go-to online places on my quest for laughter.

16 thoughts on “Where did My Laughter Go?

  1. Graham Norton is wonderful. I totally agree with you- your title sums it up. Just had a conversation with a friend about how in school we seem to always be telling a kid “that is inappropriate” or it is not appropriate. When we were growing up we did not need to hear that ever in school because we were taught at home what was “not appropriate” to say or do, and didn’t do it again! It has become a catch word as kids do not seem to be taught manners, and what is proper behavior.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I do understand what you are describing, Bridget. I have tried to watch some of the more popular comedians and I just don’t find them funny, either. It isn’t their vulgarity per se, I can take it, but to me it isn’t humorous, so what’s the point. I may need to give Graham Norton a good try!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your point about imagination is key. I quite agree. The same thing applies to children’s books – not in terms of vulgarity, but simply not allowing readers to use their imaginations. I have to say I find Michael McIntyre’s own shows far too manic for my liking

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have only watched one of Michael McIntyre’s shows, so I can only judge that one. We liked it. It was entertaining. His take on simple life situations made us laugh. A bit manic, yes perhaps!
      I haven’t read a new children’s books in quite some time, for exactly the same reason. Also, it’s the reason why I don’t like most of the Indi books. The writing is so often so over the top, so detailed, they suffocate my imagination.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think a lot of comedians these days use vulgar as a short cut to comedy… to me it seems like they either donโ€™t have enough talent to actually be funny or they just ran out of good ideas at some point.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Okay, now I am on today’s post. lol

    I don’t know….in comedy people likeRichard Pryor were pretty crude and vulgar. Other comedians followed is lead. But it wasn;t only comedy……music has gotten amazingly vulgar too.

    When I want to tune these things out, I go to the classics like Frank Sinatra.
    Have a great evening.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I totally agree with you Bridget. I spent over 28 years in the army and have to admit to the occasional swear word (or two thousand……..) but I have never sworn at home and find the constant acceptance of foul language abhorrent. Humour does not have to be obscene and the creep of such language and behaviour is disturbing, especially as it is available to even toddlers. Graham Norton is my go to programme for humour that I find acceptable and the clip you’ve included is particularly good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have to admit I swear like a sailor, but I swear cute. ‘Horse hockey’ and “Fudge” only the occasional F-Bomb in my workroom, when I hurt myself.

      I love Graham Norton. What a genius concept, put all guests on one couch, don’t interrupt, give them a few drinks and watch what happens.

      Liked by 1 person

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