Showing posts with label the beards. Show all posts
Showing posts with label the beards. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

album review: 'having a beard is the new not having a beard' by the beards (RETRO REVIEW)

I don't like reviewing comedy albums.

Now this isn't to say I don't like comedy albums, because I do. Weird Al Yankovic and The Arrogant Worms are both hilarious acts that I find really funny for wildly different reasons (the former because the man is a master at song parodies and the latter because their uniquely Canadian humour has surprising breadth and wit), and I even occasionally enjoy listening to stand-up comedy albums and laughing my ass off at the better ones. But I don't like reviewing comedy albums because humor is very different for different people. For instance, I showed my sister some of George Carlin's comedy, and she didn't find it funny so much as finding it vulgar and a little too middlebrow for her tastes (but then again, she likes some of the humor in The Carrie Diaries, which i find incomprehensible). The point I'm trying to make is that everyone tends to have different tastes and styles when it comes to comedy, different things that make us laugh. 

In my case, I think the best comedy (at least for me) is something that can resonate on other levels as well, maybe spur a bit of an emotional impact or have some intellectual heft. For instance, I think Superbad is one of the funniest movies of the last decade because Judd Apatow nails the atmosphere and there's a genuine emotional connection between the characters of Michael Cera and Jonah Hill. It's the same principle with Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, because the comedy seems to mean more when it comes from characters you have a connection with. On a similar note, that's why This Is 40 is such an utterly wretched comedy - half because I can't relate with Paul Rudd's slacker character, and half because the entire script is rooted in deep-seated anger and depression that makes all the comedic bits feel really uncomfortable.

And on a similar note, Aaron Sorkin's comedy tends to work when it's delivered with some class and panache and a deft talent for clever dialogue (The Newsroom makes this work about a quarter of the time, mostly when Thomas Sadoski is on screen). Community works as comedy in a similar way, but also balances the cleverness of the entire show with real emotional heft. The Daily Show and The Colbert Report work on the principle that if you take real complex issues and intelligently examine them, you can wring real laughs out of the occasional silliness and idiocies of modern life and politics. Hell, that's a premise Carlin used for years, finding and complaining about the stupidity of the modern world and making it entertaining and funny. 

Either way, my basic principle behind comedy is that I like material that has some wit behind it, but also can connect with me on an intellectual or emotional level. So considering that, does Having A Beard Is The New Not Having A Beard by The Beards manage to work for me?