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Subject: My Biff with Television Today

Written By: SoulAsylum on 04/21/09 at 5:41 am

Is that some of the topics they try and make light of aren't humorous at all.

I was watching Reno: 911 the other night, "giving the show a chance" like I do all T.V. shows and have come to the conclusion that I will not ever be watching the show again.  They were making fun of suicide and in a very tasteless, no shame manner.  It made me sick.  It was if they had no empathy towards those that have killed themselves and worse yet, no empathy towards those that would want to kill themselves.

Is that what our society truly wants to relay to people who are suicidal?  "Go ahead and kill yourself, we'll laugh."  Seriously?  Because that's the exact message that Reno: 911 delivered two nights ago on their programming. 

Comedy Central I've found has it's good and it's bad, but it's bad is downright Rhubbish. 

Subject: Re: My Biff with Television Today

Written By: SoulAsylum on 04/21/09 at 3:40 pm

Is apparently not shared with anyone, :)

Subject: Re: My Biff with Television Today

Written By: Macphisto on 04/21/09 at 4:06 pm

Comedy Central is good for 3 things.  Daily Show, Colbert Report, and South Park.

Beyond that, it's just filler.

Subject: Re: My Biff with Television Today

Written By: Red Ant on 04/21/09 at 4:35 pm

I haven't seen the show, but I imagine that there are some moments where 'suicide comedy' could be funny - like someone threatening to jump out of a 1st story window. Or this.

Dark humor is not for everyone. The darker the subject (suicide, rape, CP, etc), the more skill it takes to be funny instead of offensive and insensitive. I doubt Reno 911 pulled of the funny aspect - it's not a very good show imo.


Subject: Re: My Biff with Television Today

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 04/21/09 at 6:06 pm

What are YOU looking at, butthead!

If I watch South Park or Reno 911, I expect to see twisted, gross stuff.  The question to me is generally whether or not it is done well.  Both programs have their successes and failures. 

I'm not sure I've seen the sketch to which you are referring; however, I have known several people who have committed suicide, including a couple in my own family.  Suicide jokes generally do not bother me. 

I would be lying if I said NOTHING offends me.  I have my sore subjects on a personal level.  If a stand-up comic has a routine ridiculing short men, it better be pretty damn good or I'm not going to laugh.  Why?  Heightism has caused me personal deprivation in ways suicide has not.  Some overweight people get upset when the pop culture ridicules the obese.  Understandable. 

What I am always quite clear on is I don't call a subject out of bounds for humor just because it tweaks my own insecurities.  If you go down that road, humor starts to die as more and more subjects get called taboo on account of one party or another getting their feelings hurt. 

The problem with insult comics such as Lisa Lampanelli is not that they're mean and coarse, it's that they're NOT FUNNY!  Ridicule is NOT a substitute for wit.  Ridicule and wit are great companions but without the right kind of wit, ridicule is tiresome and lame.


Subject: Re: My Biff with Television Today

Written By: SoulAsylum on 04/21/09 at 9:56 pm

You guys bring up a lot of excellent insight and points.  I agree that not what you make fun of, but how you make fun of it is the real issue here.    I think there is a difference between being funny and being cruel.  I think that as a critic, it's important to take into consideration motives.

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