Dying Is Easy, Killing Is Hard: The Evolution of Stand-Up Comedy

Stand-Up Comedy boomed in the mid-1980s all over America but over-saturation of golf equipment, comics, and television set added to an industry-wide downturn that lasted several years in the mid-1990s. Humourous insiders acknowledge the artwork form is not as popular as it was in the ’80s, but say that things have stabilized. The current harvest of 18- to 34-year-olds – comedy’s major audience – has had to cope with more change, information, crime and data corruption than preceding generations. Because the saying goes, “Comedy isn’t an escape, is actually a survival mechanism. ” Industry insiders I spoke to thought the recently released of comics would generate a new period of whimsy and gentle observation. You will find hardly any young comics developing any sharp opinions, whether it be personal or ironic, or whatever. Most are being very safe, as a comic, you’ve got to say contentious things, that’s part of the contract. To generate people gasp, or stop laughing; to pull the rug out from under people’s feet and delight them. There is a huge audience for offensive humourous, albeit one with a sometimes unsavoury edge. Alex Jones is Bill Hicks

Stand-up comedy’s history is loaded with offensive humor. A lot of the iconic comedians of the last 50 years – Lenny Bruce, Bill Hicks, Richard Pryor, even Billy Connolly – were once considered beyond the mild. What is interesting about the New Offenders is who they are hidden, and why. Their precursors tended to offend against establishment opinion, and came up from what might commonly be described as a left-libertarian perspective. The holy cows they butchered were religious orthodoxy, obscenity laws and regulations, militarism and racial inequality. In the 1980s, this brand of outre esprit – then called substitute comedy – went popular. The derogatory comedy of Bernard Manning and Benny Hill was elbowed off the airwaves by happily anti-racist, anti-sexist comics of the younger generation. Simply by year 2000, alternative funny had got to a place where it was po-faced and never very funny, comics were just declaring stuff that everyone in the audience thought anyhow. That preachy, patronising thing – it was necessary at the time, but audiences are becoming more advanced. Alternative comedy became a fundamentalism that needed to be challenged. In the 1970s, black and Asian kitchenware people were getting clips subjected to their letterboxes but, the earth has moved on. Now we accept the [anti-racist, anti-sexist] tenets of different comedy as true, and do not need to patronise audiences any more. Civilizations are blending now, people are getting used to one another more. Today, more sections of culture are being represented in comedy clubs then ever before before.

What has remained the same is excellent comedians tend to exploit (and relieve) our anxieties about what’s sayable. Ideally viewers enjoy jokes that are edgy and disrupt some type of social more, but it also must be clear that everything is completely and completely fine. The very best comedians are also experts at detailing complicated, difficult-to-grasp concepts.

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