Monday, January 29, 2007

Hey LA Times

Recently you had an article about the LA alternative comedy scene. Very good in that you covered all the major alt shows. Too bad you spewed all that editorializing jizz on the story. Shecky says it best:

In thie piece, the regular clubs are the enemy-- The clubs have "rules and restrictions" (?), the comics only want a sitcom (horrors!) and the glasses clink too loudly. The alt venues are idyllic-- young, smart, idealistic comedians mingle with sweet, young, hip patrons in an atmoshpere reminiscent of Paris in the 30s or San Francisco in 1956. Of course, the reality is somewhere in between, but that wouldn't make for very good copy.

I guess Jen Kirkman's (one of the comedians quoted in the article) true thoughts wouldn't make for good copy either:

I am just having a knee jerk reaction to my quote because out of context it sounds like something I'd have said at age 21 when I first started doing comedy...I told this crazy East coast alcoholic in my monologue that I didn't want to be on SNL because I already have a job not because I'm opposed to television.

I am definitely not anti-mainstream or opposed to the typical comedy career trajectory. In fact, I hope I'm lucky enough to have it.

There you have it: even one of the alt-comics you covered (an excellent one by the way with an album coming out on my birthday) thinks you're being more hyperbolic than a coked-up WWE writer.

My take: did you want to talk to some club owners or club comics? No, that's like (gum snap) toooootally bo-ring. Why would you want to interview the people you indiscriminately malign? That would be awk-ward! This is the new age in which snarky 'tude is all the rage and asking tough questions from the people who are too unhip for the room is sooo 60 Minutes.

Here's a new scene I discovered in NY.

Young Urban Punchlines

by Mo Diggs

Did you hear the one about the underground comedy scene that went bust? Probably not; it wasn't mainstream enough for you. As the evil scenesters' necrotic tissue decomposes a new comedy scene is developing: Yuppie comedy.

More and more comedians and comedy fans are tired of the hipster scoffs and anti-humor of the alt scene; they just want jokes. While most alt-comics dream of advancing to performance art or playing Coachella, the yuppie comedians simply want to tell - and hear - jokes.

Away from the trendy cabarets and performance spaces, yuppie comics tell jokes at various midtown Starbucks. "We like it because it reminds us of the show 'Friends'," says Trevor Van Nilla, host of the yuppie comedy show "Central Perk."

As opposed to the surrealism and anarchy of the downtown scene, these comics tell jokes about how annoying that lady in accounts payable is. Or how gentlemen's clubs charge too much for lap dances. You know, stuff that working people - not smug, trust fund douchedrops - can relate to.

See how manipulative that article was? Shoving great comics like Doug Benson and Eugene Mirman underneath some lazy, blanket stereotype? Valorizing a bunch of comedians for what they stand for rather than what they actually say? Here's the truth: many alternative comedians and club comedians are friends. The Greg Giraldos hang out with the Liam McEneanys. The Patton Oswalts shoot the shit with the Lisa Lampanellis. Apparently, the Jen Kirkmans even run into the lazy journos.


Anonymous said...

Hey Mo!
Thanks for putting this out there. Correction, I did NOT take time to talk to journalists, if I had perhaps they'd get my name right or take my quote in context. I didn't even know the papers were there!

Mo Diggs said...

Thanks Jen. I will change accordingly.