a priori/a posteriori

Monday, April 25, 2016

Shout-Out to Recovered Hipsters

Hey guys.
Okay.  So this is the cool part, about being a (*god-like echo voice*) 

Stand-Up, COMEDIAN _____
Mostly, it's the little things.  You get to shout cool people out, on your website.  You get to give people a little bit of a thrill (hopefully), in their day.  And if things go just right, you help people take their lives a little bit less seriously. 

A great comedy show is a massage for the inner chutes and ladders of your brain. 
A great comedian is a real-life Ms. Frizzle, giving audiences a tour of the silliest and most ticklish parts of his or her mind, and letting each kid on the magic school bus decide whether to feel good because they are the same, or because they are different. 
In that way, stand-up comedy has never been about being funny.  It just hasn't.  It's been about being aware.  Because true self-awareness is such a rarity, such a shock to the rest of us, that it's mere presence is hilarious. 
Steven Wright has been exploring the limits of just how funny an "unfunny" person can be.  Have you guys heard of him? 

Here is a clip of his from the mid-1980s:

There is an absurdity to his thoughts, but he was never a bombastic performer.  But instead of trying to be someone he wasn't, he used his natural style to his advantage. 

He was still performing, of course, in his own way.  But that's just it.  It's in his own way.  Out of all the comedians I've watched and studied over the years, Steven looks as comfortable with himself as any of them.

Turns out, the reason he looks so comfortable is because he was so uncomfortable.  He talks a little about that in the first minute of this 2012 interview:

You said to suggest some comedians who might have slipped through the cracks, for anyone who was welcomed into the "stand-up universe" through the Louis window. 

You mentioned Patton Oswalt, and he's a phenomenal comedian.  Both of them inspired me as a person, trying to make sense of the world around us.

Steven is a different flavor, and you may not find him as resonating.  But he was a courageous comic in the 1980s, when so many comedians were trying to copy the successes of more-successful peers.  If you enjoy his absurd Magic School Bus rides through his mind, I can suggest a few other names that ventured out on their own, stylistically.
I didn't get into my own story today, and that's okay. 

I hadn't written a blog in a year -- not since I officially retired from stand-up last year,
and not since Butterfly, Dragonfly and I moved from New York in September. 

(we use code names on here.  you guys are now code name "Recovered Hipsters" 

I'm "Bumblebee."  That way I can keep my anonymity, here at brysonturner.com)
Anyway:  If nothing else, your collective coolness overflowed the cup, and got me writing again.  So thanks again for stopping by yesterday. 

Next time, bring the pet monkey.

Bumblebee and Butterfly

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