August 13, 2003

"Funny" is Taken. How About "Tired Old Hack?"

Okay, I saw this article and had two thoughts:

1. That's stupid.

2. Al Franken is a humorist?

Umm, I remember his one-note schtick on SNL WAAAAYYYY back in the day, before Stuart Smalley. You know, where the entire punchline was about sending money to Al Franken? Yeah, I was ten and I knew it was lame. I kept thinking, "For the love of GOD, man! Quit sucking the oxygen out of the sketch comedy and get on with the humor! Where's Mr. Bill?" Again, I was TEN. But my taste in humor was impeccable. Franken and Davis as writers behind the scenes? Funny. Franken alone in front of the camera? Not. Maybe someone should have told him that back in 1979. It would have saved everyone some pain.

Stuart Smalley never appealed to me, either. The only one of those sketches I remember had Kiefer Sutherland doing a great rip-off of Franken. That was funny, which makes me wonder if you can count yourself a successful humorist when people only find humor in other people mocking your humor...or something like that. And so now he's written another humorous tome, with another highbrow yet amusing title. Whatever, guy. We all know that you secretly wish you were PJ O'Rourke, but you're not. Enjoy the free publicity and then retire. And while you're at it, if you could refrain from splattering the reading public with bon mots like these:

"As far as the personal attacks go," Franken responded, "when I read `intoxicated or deranged' and `shrill and unstable' in their complaint, I thought for a moment I was a Fox commentator.

"And by the way, a few months ago, I trademarked the word `funny.' So when Fox calls me `unfunny,' they're violating my trademark. I am seriously considering a countersuit."

We would be grateful. You're not bringing the funny, guy. You're making us all uncomfortably aware of your lack of the funny, in fact. That lawsuit should be a goldmine of comedy, but you're going straight for the third grade invective. And Ann Coulter's already got that category sewed up, plus she's got better legs.

And Fox? Lighten up!

Posted by Big Arm Woman at August 13, 2003 09:12 AM

Actually, I think he's very funny. I also find you very funny. Gee, you must be the same person (that's the logic behind Fox News's lawsuit, I think). Seriously, I think he's great, and is much more talented at what he does than all of the idiotic hacks on Fox News are at what they do.

BTW, "Stuart Saves His Family" was a delightful movie, and if you never saw him doing Paul Simon and Paul Tsongas having a conversation, you missed a really funny experience.

Posted by: Michael at August 13, 2003 12:04 PM

Yeah, I realize YMMV as regards humorists. But he's not my cup of tea--I prefer the ranty, angry comics. Gee, go figure.

The whole thing is silly--if I were a conspiracy theorist, I'd say it was an orchestrated effort to sell stuff. Unfortunately, it's probably just a bunch of suits overreacting.

At least he's not bleating about his "dissent being squashed"--I'll give him credit for that. But none of my money.

Posted by: BAW at August 13, 2003 01:05 PM