Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Laughter that hurts, and the need to make noise

“The purpose of comedy is to hurt feelings. You have to hurt feelings. If you just massage people’s feelings, you may as well write straight, you shouldn’t write comedy.” -- Mel Brooks, who also said, "Bad taste is simply saying the truth before it should be said."

And on the business of living:

“If you're quiet, you're not living. You've got to be noisy and colorful and lively...

“Look, I don't want to wax philosophic, but I will say that if you're alive you've got to flap your arms and legs, you've got to jump around a lot, for life is the very opposite of death, and therefore you must at very least think noisy and colorfully, or you're not alive.”

PLUS: The Big Bad Tasteless Joke That Worked--Springtime for Hitler, not from the 2001 Nathan Lane-Matthew Broderick Broadway smash but from the original 1968 movie (starring the peerless Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder) that spawned the musical.


beektur said...

the only thing good about mel brooks was anne bancroft. brooks is a neurotic, megalomaniac hot-air balloon -- a perfect formula for commercially successful, tourist/suburban-friendly stage spectacles. there's nothing funny about his shows, his quips or his philosophy. at worst, they are ponderous, at best, unoriginal. the reason why he was successful was that he was crude but his characters wear suits or period costumes, so the audience feel safe. for laughter that hurts, give me neil simon or paul rudnick anytime. (oh, and don't make me start on the hype he created for thousand-dollar premium seats. he is not in theater to hurt feelings but people's pockets.)

beektur said...

oy, btw, have you tried accessing your blog on mac? it might just be me, but there's something not right in how long it takes to load the page.

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