Mar 13, 2013

Comedy is Aggression

I remember seeing the movie WIRED when I was a kid. At the time I was a hard-core comedy nerd and had digested all the Marx Brothers, Buster Keaton, Chaplin, Danny Kaye, Robin Williams, Steve Martin, SNL and Kids In The Hall (which was really just starting here in America) I could find. I was just starting high school and I remember being bowled over by the sheer ferocity of Belushi. He was big and loud. He was an honest-to-god Wild Man! 

I remember thinking that that was what I wanted to be. But, you know, without the drugs and death. But as comedians we don't pick the form our comedy self comes in. Since the comedy stems from us, we just kind of grow into the kind of funny we become. From time to time, I open the lid on my id enough that my inner Belushi comes out. On occassion, I unleash the Wild Man. But it is not the place I live 24-7.

I do not know who the teacher is supposed to be in this clip (Del Close?), but I agree with the remarks. Comedy IS aggression. It is a penetrative kind of performance. I've also always kind of considered it, in its most powerful, most pure state, a touch with transcendence.

Think about what happens when you laugh. You head falls back, your mouth opens and you let out a laugh. You eyes water and then close. Your brain short-circuits, it stops and is stuck in that one sublime moment. Time stops. If it is a big enough laugh you can't breathe. You can't catch your breath. You gut hurts.You may even lose control of your bodily functions.

For a moment while you live, you die. That's transcendence.

Anyway, I love Belushi, the blessed monster!

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