Friday, February 23, 2007

Stand-Up Comedy is Sooo 1930s

In the '20s, comedians were in vaudeville shows where they certainly were not the center of attention. But in the '30s comedians slowly began to take center stage. Fucking duh; it was the Depression and people were tired of all that ballyhoo. Audiences didn't want to waste their money on anything but liquor and laughs. Hardnosed drunks barked out orders like "Tell the ball juggler and the fire eater to dangle! Either I get some laughs or I dry gulch the bartender!"

It was cheaper to have a stand-up show than a vaudeville show. Speakeasies were closing and bars were reopening. So the whole idea of talking into a microphone at a cheap bar in Manhattan to make people laugh seems like such a quaint 1930s goal. Here are the lyrics to a musical number I wrote about the birth of stand-up in the Depression bar scene. ('30s slang dictionary optional)

Get out your muggles, forget your troubles
Have a laugh on me!
Pretty tomato, I know you can't say no
Have a laugh on me!
I hope you don't think I'm tightening the screws
I just want you to yuk it up and booze
Hang up your hat, forget that juggling act
and have a laaaaugh oooon meeee!

Imagine Dane Cook doing comedy in the '30s?

You guys remember the Kool Aid Man? No? Well how about Burger King? No? Dude! Why do people say "cheese" when they take a picture?

-It's a wise head way to say "Smile!" Now stop moving your pan like a bunny before I send you to the meat wagon!


RG Daniels said...

Hello my ragtime gaaaaalll...::HONK::

Mo Diggs said...

How you doing you old boozehound? Check out my friend RG Daniels's page; he's no fakeloo artist!