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Jerry Seinfeld Exposes The Problems Of Contemporary Comedy

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I hate standup. Always have. I’ve seen a lot of it. “You gotta hear this guy!” “You gotta see her show! Even you would absolutely love it!” You just gotta.

Bleh. Comedians making observations. Pointing out the absurdity of this or that. Coming at life from a slightly skewed angle. It’s so boring! It isn’t insightful. It isn’t even funny. Oh, I’m laughing my head off, sure. I’m surrounded by a bunch of hooting baboons. You have to laugh or they might notice and attack you.

I don’t know why I’m this way. Could be because, growing up with ecumenical parents who kept lugging us around to different churches, I got preached at in a lot of different manners as a kid. Baptist sermons, Methodist sermons, Assembly of God sermons, Presbyterian sermons, Catholic sermons, Episcopalian sermons (they read them aloud, like third graders!), even a couple of Unitarian sermons (what was that about?).

You go to a Quaker meeting, think you’re going to get a little peace and quiet. No, somebody is moved by the spirit, and you get another homily. “Yeah right, that was your Inner Light talking, not you running your mouth about basically nothing. Sure.”

One night in college, there I was sitting through another interminable standup act, laughing along with everybody, waiting for this torture to end, and it struck me: I’m in church! This is a slightly more amusing version of a sermon. This guy wants me to go somewhere with him. And I think: No way! I’m not going there. That’s your place. I got my own place.

Of all the kinds of comedy, the kind I hate the most is observational humor. So when “Seinfeld” came along in the ’90s, I never watched an episode. Soup Nazi? Yada yada yada? No clue.

But the show is gone now. Here we are 20 years later, and the great Comedy Movement, the great attempt to replace religion in America with a sort of Existentialism Lite, has crashed itself onto the rocks of Marxist hypermoralism, and all that’s left of the comedy boat is a bunch

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