I've been watching a lot of Kevin Hart, Trevor Noah, and Dave Chappelle these days, so naturally Netflix suggested I view a few other things they thought I'd like, and yet would never discover on my own. And they were right. This show is really funny, and I think I have a NEW, new appreciation for comedians right now. Especially looking back over decades of life, and realizing just how present they were during various eras, and how they are responsible for so many smiles, so much laughter, and just good memories overall.
Jim Carrey, in the first episode of the latest season made a great comment about his life. He said that just knowing that when he shows up places, or when people see his face, their immediate reaction is joy and/or laughter. He feels good knowing that in his life, he has managed to make an impact that just makes people happy when they see him. End of story.
That's the point of entertainment, needless to say. To bring us away from reality, or introduce us to new realities...to escape, without escaping. And through the most basic form of entertainment...soliciting laughter through jokes. I think pop culture goes through eras where comedy is either really on...or really off. Given the wacky state of political affairs, and other fuckups...comedy is like a necessity right now.
The show, although moving along just fine for the past 5 years...couldn't have come at a better time for me, personally. I imagine that it's move to Netflix is a welcome addition for other entertainment lovers as well. I mean, clearly, an unscripted segment with two professional jokesters is bound to make you laugh at some point?! But what I'm also loving, in addition to the laughs, is the insight that these folks are providing along the way. I'm sure this was 100% the point, when Jerry Seinfeld conceptualized this show. The other side of comedian's minds...how they interact with one another.
The premise itself is funny, because we're expecting them to both be "on"...and in some cases they are, and it manifests many brilliant, honest moments of joy. In some cases it's forced, but still insightful. In the best episodes, Jerry himself can't stop the tears of laughter from falling, and there is absolutely wonderfulness in just watching THAT go down.
Made me think about a few things, overall...and the first was Robin Williams. The most animated of all comedians, with so much of the most unbearable pain. Watching the comedians interact with one another, you can see the personality type more clearly, the eccentricities and intelligence. The commonality I'm noticing with these discussions (and even with stand-up, as of late) is how intrinsically connected these artists are to the world. To human nature. So connected mentally, yet so often disconnected emotionally. They proclaim to be introverts, and socially awkward. They say that they are outcasts, when our entire lives we know them to be the life of any digital party. The paradoxes are fascinating.
One of the things I am enjoying the most about this series--as I easily blaze through new episodes and old--is how many of the comedians we get to reconnect with, later on in life. Even if that later on is just a few months, or a few years...it's nice to be made acquaintance with Stephen Colbert, and Dave Letterman, and I even actually enjoyed Jim Carrey...probably moreso than I did during the height of his career. Go figure.
Some of the comedians were unexpectedly demure, almost. Introspective. It was great to not see them "on"...and just listen to their thoughts and perspectives on life, and their careers. For someone trained in the art of seeing the funny in life, it's amazing to hear what happens...after the funny. When they're not obligated to pretend, but can now freely speak their truths without the confines of their television shows/film careers.
P.S. The cars, pretty dope too!
Written by Stacey Marie Robinson for Kya Publishing's "Urban Toronto Tales" blog.