Thursday, July 07, 2011

Too Much?

So, for the last 24 hours or so, I've been intermittently listening to a podcast called The Lavender Hour, which is basically what happens when two people say, OMG our conversations are so entertaining, we should just tape them and put them on the Internets, only instead of just talking about it, they actually do it.

I found it because I had just watched Duncan Trussell in Drunk History Vol. 6 and was curious about who he is. The Internet didn't really have an answer for this question, but it did have the Lavender Hour, which Trussell co-hosts with his comedian friend.

Do you ever find yourself mesmerized by a piece of entertainment without even knowing why? Like, I'm not really laughing out loud here, and I'm not sure I even get where these people are coming from at all, but this speaks to me on some unfathomable level (or, alternatively, I just need more of a life), so I am just listening to it anyway. It's like... company. That's how I feel about the show Portlandia: There are a few sequences that I find hilarious, and then the rest of it I just sort of watch because I just inexplicably want to be there.

So but the thing about Lavender Hour episode that I listened to was that at times, I had to skip through because they were working so blue that I couldn't take it. Like, jokes about malls and dad-wear and the Cheesecake Factory, of course. But jokes about rape and anal sex...oh my delicate ears.

It was my own fault that I turned from this to the show Louie in search of something a bit lighter. And once again I found myself alternately amused and nauseated. I hit "pause" at about the point where someone was talking about rubbing a "smelly little cock" all over a woman's "depressing tits."

This experience -- of going from amused to perplexed to outright disgusted/traumatized and back again -- seems to be much more common now than it used to be. Remember when Eddie Murphy was edgy? It reminds of the moment at 1:28 in this interview with Charlie Sheen where he has just spewed out some craziness and breaks the frame for a moment to ask, "Too much?" It was such a genius wink at the audience in a time where everyone was just loving Crazy Charlie Sheen. But ultimately, yes, it was too much. Who wants to watch an id in overdrive for more than five minutes?

I don't know. It's not that I want everything to be squeaky clean. I would just like people to err on the side of restraint and be more creative rather than going for the shocking laugh, because these people are talented enough that they don't need it. But the real UncMo here is not the comedy itself but that a) I can't make this point in a sharper way right now and b) I sound like Grandma (or Bill Cosby). But I mean does anyone share my dismay?

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