In the wake of yesterday's post busting on The Osbournes, Hunter (who has no blog currently) asked me the very germane question: what do I consider to be funny?
So I did a little thinking, and for the most part it's cleverness that gets me, especially if there's a good bit of irreverence stirred in. This snags me on a lot of "low comedy," notably South Park and anything by Kevin Smith (Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back -- love 'em all), but also some things like The Black Adder (can't stand Mr. Bean, though) and Monty Python (the movies and [most of] the Flying Circus episodes). I groove on about 30% of the Frasier I see (the ones that aren't predictable train-wrecks featuring "Kelsey Grammer embarrassment™"), and Seinfeld wound up being a nice surprise; I didn't really catch it until it was in syndication.
I'm infamous for "not getting" some real comic standbys: Fletch and the Vacation movies in particular have never tickled me. Chevy Chase doesn't do much for me, though, so that might be the reason there. Bill Murray, on the other hand, seems to have my number. Ghostbusters, Stripes and Caddyshack are good ones, though not screamers so much as chucklers. I also like a lot of Chris Rock's work, and Sinbad's several-hour special (where he's wearing the colorful vest) is one of the few things that routinely makes me howl. Mike Meyers and Dana Carvey (separately and together) are guilty pleasures.
Then there's some animated stuff: I'm a big Invader Zim nut; a near evangelist. Hunter introduced me to Zim a few months back, and I now have all the episodes recorded, and I never do that. Catch the episodes "Invasion of the Idiot Dog Brain," "Dark Harvest," "Bloaty's Pizza Hog" and "The Wettening" for Why I Like Zim. I like about 75% of The Simpsons (which is funny to me for many of the same reasons The Osbournes is not - the difference? It's fictional, and the writing is better: "Lisa, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!"). Spongebob Squarepants bothers me - it seems simply vapid. Trippy, perhaps, but ultimately vapid. I've been coerced into watching Rugrats on several occasions, and there's a lot I like there.
...So anyway, there's a not-so-brief survey. Why does The Osbournes not do it for me? What's clever about it? Some of the comebacks are witty (I'm Ozzy Osbourne; I'm the Fookin' Prince a Darkness; I can't have bubbles!), but that's about it.
Me in a nutshell.