Rants – Is it so hard to be funny?

     I believe that all media will eat itself.  That isn't necessarily a bad thing especially when it comes to media about comedy.  For example, the movie "Punchline" with Tom Hanks and Sally Field is heartwarming and disturbing as it explores the motivations of stand-up comics.  But what really make this movie stand out are the hilarious stand up routines.  These scenes are no mere amusing recreations of comedy.  They are the real thing, laugh out loud with tears coming out of your eyes funny. 

    Too bad the same cannot be said about the new show "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip".  I have been storing this well made show on my DVR for about half a dozen episodes.  I do mean that it is well made.  The lighting is nice and the actors are well spoken.  However, the show is about a "Saturday Night Live" like comedy show and yet is never funny.  The show doesn't have to be funny for a whole hour; it could just be funny for a minute or two.  How hard can it be to be funny for a just one minute a week?  Even the now pathetic "Saturday Night Live" can muster at least a minute of laughs each week. 

    Some shows are funny in that not really funny sort of way, like HBO comedies, "Arrested Development", or cartoons in "The New Yorker".  Some people enjoy enjoy humor without laughter or even the occasional smirk.  These shows fill that niche.  "Studio 60" doesn't even go that far.  It just isn't funny.  I blame the long winded overly sincere fact filled speeches.  Or maybe it is just that the show within the show isn't compelling without the humor.  Or maybe the creators of the show have no funny bone.  For example, One of the stars of "Studio 60", Nate Cordry, was a former "Daily Show" correspondent.  He was funnier in one "Daily Show" clip than the he has been on the entire run of "Studio 60".  I doubt that it is his fault.

I'll continue watching "Studio 60" not because I think it will get funnier.  It will probably be cancelled by year's end, leaving more time to watch other shows.  Perhaps I will catch up on my back log of "The Daily Show", which is hilarious.

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