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Moogs
Hates the Infotainment
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: NSA Archives
 
2006-09-21, 23:19

I meant to post this a couple days back, but I wanted to share a special moment I had with HBO the other night, the network that introduced me to one Katt Williams, comedian. I think. For those not in the know (I wasn't), Katt is sort of like the gangsta version of Bozo the clown I guess. Wish I could google you a picture, but basically he was wearing a leprechaun-green felt suit, and his hair was straight permed with a gigantic wave that stuck straight out, all the way around (hence the Bozo effect).

But more than his appearance, I was particularly speechless after listening to the first 5-10 minutes of his monologue. Let me see if I can accurately paraphrase the first few moments.

'God DAYMN, good to be in MOTHERFUCKIN ATLANTA. Ain't NO place in the world like this muthafucka, mutherfuckers! Mutherfuckin Atlanta has everything you could imagine [blah blah blah, I haven't come to the realization yet that the duality of either partying on the corner or being shot on the corner is not what makes a city great]."

"I'm just hear to tell all you motherfuckers to lighten the fuck up and enjoy yo mutherfuckin life. Life is too mutherfuckin SHORT, bitches! Be mutherfuckin greatful for what the fuck you have and stop complain about the mutherfuck [x], mutherfuckin [y] and mutherfuckin [z]. Enjoy yo mutherfuckin selves!"

"Get yourself up to the next mutherfuckin level. I don't do fuckin SHIT with mutherfuckers who are doin the same shit as last year. Don't hang out with no mutherfuckers unless they take shit to the next level. If you mutherfuckers are doin the same shit as last year, I ain't hangin wit YOU mutherfuckin bitches!"

And so it goes, homies, with the crowd absolutely raving. You may think that I am an embittered cracker who is exaggerating, but I'm not kidding. Every sentence had either two mutherfuckers, a mutherfucker and a fuckin, or a mutherfuckin and at least two shits. I mean he was truly prodigious.

How is it that *anyone*, regardless of how urban you might be, finds that to be intelligent comedy? I mean, if he didn't swear... would people still laugh? Because that's the mark of a true comedian. Sure you have to drop the well-placed F bomb for effect in any routine but this guy was just... retarded. Someone please tell me it's not just me, that the pimp chronicles part uno, really was pretty fuckin mutherfucked up, bitches.


...into the light of a dark black night.
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psmith2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tennessee
 
2006-09-21, 23:29

I always liked to watch Def Comedy Jam to see guys come out and do that. So many of the performers truly weren't that funny (they weren't really saying much of anything), but they'd just load up on all the words or phrases, and the audience would all be jumping up and down and going nuts. People running out of their seats, up and down the aisle, doubled-over, hopping up and down, etc.



I thought it was funny as could be, but probably not in the way the show was intended.

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Moogs
Hates the Infotainment
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: NSA Archives
 
2006-09-22, 00:31

Yah what is that? What is this compulsion among my dark skinned brothers and sisters, to rock violently back and forth when laughing at comedians? This is truly one of the mysteries of the universe as far as I'm concerned. Does it make it funnier if people rock back and forth? Good way to relieve the pressure on hemorrhoids? Science may never uncover this one.

...into the light of a dark black night.
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drewprops
Space Pirate
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2006-09-22, 06:16

Well I can assure you that there's no motherfuckin' place in the world in Atlanta, MothaFucka!!!!!
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AWR
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: State of Flux
 
2006-09-22, 06:44

I don't know. The first post had me laughin and rockin back and forth. It was quite funny.

Some of the incomprehsion at what makes that funny must be cultural. A cultural form of communication that is unique. It builds a bond with the audience but does not connect with you. Most likely, you haven't seen your aunt spend 20 minutes suckin on a chicken neck bone, muthafucker. Or just waitin fo the muthafuckin bus in the ghetto. Fuck.

This approach like all the others can be tiresome when there's really no talent.

I wonder if the same crowd would find [Insert First Name] Wright or Dennis Miller funny.

I don't know.
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Engine Joe
Going Strange...
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Brooklyn, NY
 
2006-09-22, 07:08

Quote:
Originally Posted by AWR View Post
I wonder if the same crowd would find [Insert First Name] Wright or Dennis Miller funny.
Steven.
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AWR
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: State of Flux
 
2006-09-22, 07:11

Steven Wright was in 'Canadian Bacon'?

Does the muthafucka crowd find that movie funny? Or What About Bob? Or Sideways?
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scratt
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: M-F: Thailand Weekends : F1 2010 - Various Tracks!
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2006-09-22, 07:30

Reminds me of a story about Eddie Murphy and 48 hours..
I was told that every scene of that movie was shot twice.. One where he swore all the way through his dialogue, and another where he did not.
Apparently the two versions are out there, and I always thought the toned down version I saw was just dubbed.. But maybe that was it..

The amount of swearing doesn't bother me as much as whether the comedy is funny or not..
Eddie Murphy is funny, and swears like a trooper... Just like Richard Prior (Bless his soul), who also swore like a trooper on stage.. These new comedians like the guy you bumped into makes me think of comparing the likes of Vanilla Ice to Eminem, for example. You may not like either, but it's obvious which has some talent..

Moogs, I think you are quite right to think this guy has no talent.
I think the swearing is a way of trying to cover that up, and as such just makes it all the more obvious to people of discerning taste, I guess.

'Remember, measure life by the moments that take your breath away, not by how many breaths you take'
Extreme Sports Cafe | ESC's blog | scratt's blog | @thescratt

Last edited by scratt : 2006-09-22 at 08:08.
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Fahrenheit
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Send a message via ICQ to Fahrenheit  
2006-09-22, 07:42

Lee Evans says Fuck a lot. But he is fucking hilarious.
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psmith2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tennessee
 
2006-09-22, 08:25

Years ago (early 90's?) I went to see Franklin Ajaye here at our local comedy club (yeah, we have just one...barely ). And it was a bit like this, to some degree. My dad, me and maybe about six or so other white people in the audience...and I think we were the only ones that stayed completely seated during the entire show. It was a riot, both Ajaye and the crowd itself.



I guess just a cultural thing. I don't know. Must be. Has to be something to it because you can watch 24-hour straight of standup routines on Comedy Central. A white crowd (or even a mixed crowd: white, black, Asian, etc.) simply laugh and clap. Maybe yell and "woo-woo!" a bit at times. But if it's a black comedian and an all/mostly-black audience, there's going to be some jumping, running, hand-waving, standing up, pointing, bouncing in the seats, someone running down the aisle or laying on the ground, etc. I once saw a guy on Def Comedy Jam stand up on the BACK of his seat and jump off into the aisle.

It was the funniest thing I ever saw in my life.



That's not a bad thing, that's just what it is...at least in every instance I've ever seen (including my Ajaye performance above). Watching the crowd that night was as entertaining as anything he was talking about.

Churches too. I was in the Chattanooga Boys Choir from first to seventh grade (most of my pre-teen childhood) and one of the things we'd do on a regular basis throughout the year was perform at local or regional churches. All kinds. We'd go to black churches throughout town and I always loved them, just because I'd never seen/heard anything like it (the Boys Choir itself was about 1/3 black so we would perform at all places). We'd always tailor our shows to reflect the churches we went to: we had a lot of spiritual type "call and response" things we'd do in those churches, and then all these hymns (some in other languages we'd learn phonetically) we'd do in others, just to reflect the surroundings.

But we ALWAYS preferred going to the black churches: tambourines, usually somebody rocking a drumset and Fender Rhodes piano, great singing by their choir, people up and dancing. Just like you see in movies, like the beginning of "The Blues Brothers". When you're 9-years-old and all you've known before is some guy yelling and screaming for an hour, damning everyone to hell for this-or-that, this was a cool, refreshing (and happy) change of pace. Very upbeat and joyful, not "youuuu listen to that rock and roll and you're gonna PAY a pricccccccce-uh!" churches I'd attend with friends sometimes.



In contrast, we'd have to go perform at local Episcopal(?) type places, and the atmosphere couldn't have been more 180 degrees. A 14-hour service , most of it in some language we didn't know, flat delivery, nobody dancing, hymns that only seemed to use 2-3 notes, etc. No offense to anyone, that's just how it was.



So there's something about communal celebration, taking in humor, worship, etc. that's different among people.

I'll laugh my head off at a comedy show, but I can honestly say I've never had the urge to jump up and run down the aisle. Others do, and that's cool. But it sure can be funny to watch.

If you ever get a chance to watch the "Kings of Comedy" concert on BET, check it out. It's pretty funny, period (especially Bernie Mac's segment..."I gonna get some milk and cookehs"), but the crowd is INTO it, big time! It's great.



As for the initial topic (sorry for my detour), I think a lot of hack comedians (white, black or otherewise) realize they can get a lot of mileage - and easy laughs - by just standing up there and saying that. It "connects", or at least they're thinking/hoping it does?

Pryor was filthy, but I've never laughed harder at another comedian my entire life. I would sneak and listen to all my Dad's albums as a kid. Definitely the first time I heard those particular words. Even now it still doubles me over. Point is, you're either funny or not. Some people are, and they swear. I don't care. Others are just as funny, and they don't swear. Even cooler. But the worst is people who AREN'T funny...and all they do is throw out the language to make up for any true humor or insight. And if it's a lazy, bonehead crowd, they'll eat it up and only encourage the fool.

Def Comedy Jam was the worst...it just got ridiculous after a while.

Last edited by psmith2.0 : 2006-09-22 at 08:31.
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Moogs
Hates the Infotainment
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: NSA Archives
 
2006-09-22, 09:10

Quote:
Originally Posted by drewprops View Post
Well I can assure you that there's no motherfuckin' place in the world in Atlanta, MothaFucka!!!!!

Yah well I used to live there and still visit occasionally. It definitely has its cool points and of course you can't beat the weather most years, but it can't -and don't take this personally- hold a candle to New York, Boston, or Chicago IMHO. There's a certain character to those places that's absent in Atlanta. However, I'll take Atlanta over LA any day, even if the weather in LA is even better generally (much less humid for one). The traffic's about the same AFAICT. I sort of get the impression it's the southern mecca for many African Americans. Probably lot's of hip hop clubs and stuff like that I imagine. Don't know what else Katt could be so orgasmic over. It ain't the airport or Braves games, that's for sure.

As others have noted though, obviously some of my bafflement is just cultural. And don't get me wrong, people should know from my posting style that swearing doesn't offend me and that I drop my share of f-bombs when something pisses me off. But there clearly wasn't a lot of talent coming through the stage monitors that night. Just a lot of inane posturing and faux toughness in the form of the f-bombage.

Paul: you make a great point about Richard Pryor. He was one filthy mouthed individual. Eddie Murphy was also very liberal with his swearing but not even remotely close to this Williams guy. Also, the thing about Eddie Murphy was the *way* he said things, his timing, etc. He did make those words funny, even if they were foul language technically. The current breed of black comedians doesn't seem to possess that skill for some reason. It's all just being a blow-hard and shouting the words as many times as you can. There's zero technique.

...into the light of a dark black night.
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psmith2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tennessee
 
2006-09-22, 09:28

I've actually got a lot of Pryor in my iTunes/iPod. There are routines I can dial up at any time and still - even though I've heard them dozens and dozens of times over 25 or so years - laugh out loud.

Wino talking with Dracula "S-Say, man...what you doin' lookin' in them people's window? What? What's your name, boy? Dracula? What kind of name is that for a ni..." "Why don't you get your teeth fixed? Shit hanging all out your mouth...get you an orthodontist!"
The Exorcist
Flying Saucers
Eating (difference in black dinner table and a white one...ohmigosh, I nearly choked the first time I heard it I was laughing so hard )
Prison ("I made people laugh all day to keep their mind of the booty. Wasn't nobody fuckin' me no place...somebody tried to do me, you'd read about it in Jet! 'Okay, Mr. Pryor...you can put the dick down now'"
Wino directing traffic
Cocaine ("I've been snortin' 20 years...I ain't hooked! I must've snorted up half of Peru. Should've just given them the money up front and had me a piece of property!")
Breaking Up
Going to Court NSFW
Funeral
Getting an ambulance in the ghetto
Gangs/fighting ("Whichever side was winning...'uh, this is my side!'")
Old movies
Cops
High school

Oh man...I think everyone ought to have a little Pryor on their iPod. It's all in the delivery...the above doesn't do it a bit of justice, of course.



Unfortunately, they only have one of his albums on iTunes ( "Is It Something I Said" ).

DEFINITELY NSFW!!!

Last edited by psmith2.0 : 2006-09-22 at 09:37.
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Engine Joe
Going Strange...
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Brooklyn, NY
 
2006-09-22, 10:09

I haven't heard much Pryor stand-up. I saw a collection from his VERY early years (early 1960s), and was disappointed. There were moments, but it wasn't brilliant.

I might have to try some later material.

(I remain a fan of Steve Martin, Jeff Altman, early George Carlin, and Lenny Bruce)
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psmith2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tennessee
 
2006-09-22, 10:38

Yeah, I think the 70's era Pryor is what most people remember or laugh at most. I've seen early clips of him (Smothers Brothers? Shows like that?) and he seemed timid and not particularly funny.

The albums my Dad had were all from the 70's (early and mid decade?).

I wasn't even that impressed with the Sunset Strip concert/movie (or others 80's televised or filmed appearances). It seemed bitter or off, somehow. And the lighter movies he was making didn't really appeal to me much either ("Superman 3", "Brewster's Millions", a few lame ones with Gene Wilder, etc.).

Many of those 70's albums (with the exception of "Is It Something I Said?") sounded like there were recorded in smaller, more intimate venues (clubs, even...tinkling glasses, audience response/involvement, Pryor playing around with a waitress and placing a drink order in a pretty funny way ), and they're pretty unhinged. May or may not be one's cup of tea, I realize (the language and all), but they certainly made me laugh.

I'm not even sure if they're still easy to find, or even available anymore. I'm bummed that iTunes doesn't carry more of them. My Dad had 4-5 albums. In fact, I recall one being totally devoid of profanity (the others were loaded, of course). But this one, I wouldn't even have to sneak and listen to because it wasn't "dirty". I'd put in on, at 9-years-old or so, with my Mom in the room or kitchen. It was mostly routines on high school, growing up poor, old war movie cliches, etc. I can't remember the name, but that was the one I was openly "allowed" to listen to. It was more like a Cosby album (which they had about 2-3 of too...just funny stories, many childhood/growing up-oriented).

They didn't know, until years and years later, I was listening to ALL of them.



They also had a Redd Foxx album, and I have to say: it made Pryor seem almost like a choirboy. I had no idea Fred Sanford (my only point of reference to Foxx at the time, of course) was that blue. Holy cow, they were ferociously vulgar. My ears melted.

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