stupid blogger

KINDA IMPORTANT

Well here's a fine how do you do!

Letter from Benny:
How come my last three posts haven't been posted?
Have you not been getting them?

Me:
I got nada!
You need to stick up for the SIMPSONS!!! Against that mean old JED!
Are you sure you are filling in the squiggly letters? Do you get the thing that says your comments will be posted after owner approval?

Benny:
I did!!
I took up for the Simpsons in a very eloquent way.
I also laughed with you at Euroman
I also chided Jed for getting rid of his old Taboo.
Sigh.
Of course I did the squiggly.

Hey, do me a favor. If you have posted recently and it did not show up, send me a note at lasagnalagna -at- yahoo -dot- com. I'm not putting together a lawsuit or anything. Just curious.

I'm sure there are THOUSANDS OF YOU out there who are trying to tell Jed how wrong he is!

11 comments:

greg said...

I'm not sure if Jed is wrong, since he's just stating his opinion, but his opinion is wrong. Simpson's is still great.

And that stuff he mentioned about SNL was from 40 years ago… I don't think Chevy Chase is still on the show.

Jed said...

Is my long-windedness to be the perpetual victim of indiscriminate skimming, of catching a few random disagreeable details and not the actual substance of what I've written? Because that's what keeps happening.

I've been here mischaracterized as the Enemy of Simpsons. If you want to find somebody to argue with who thinks the show sucks, it's not me. There's a difference between maligning a bad thing, and pointing out a few imperfections in an otherwise very good thing.

And yes, Chevy Chase isn't among the current cast of SNL, you've got me there, but the show really hasn't sharpened it's wit since those 40 years past. And SNL, the Simpsons, etc. etc., do tend to draw upon the same overpriveledged gene pool from the Harvard Lampoon. Does that make these writers unfunny? No, it just makes them a certain kind of funny. Is it bad funny or is it good funny? In the case of the Simpsons, more often than not, that's some very good funny, but this kind of funny has become institutionalized and exclusive.

A fraternity tends to dull the otherwise incisive wit of its membership. For instance: (and I think this is the best parallel I can make) There used to be a lot of funny guys in the Friar's club. You had your Jack Benny and your George Burns and your Milton Burle. And you had your Milton Burle. Remember when he did that ad for the adult diapers? Well the Harvard Lampoon and its ilk are reaching the adult diaper stage, and we need some new blood.

So to sum up for those who seem to need the Cliff Notes, these were the points I was trying to make:

1. The Simpsons is a writer driven show. It has a different character than more visually driven animated shows. This is great, in that there's some good writers on the show, but not so great, in that the show misses the opportunity to take advantage of what can be gained from the old technique of storyboards first. It tends to be more about the writing and the voice characterizations than the animation.

2. National Lampoon, the Harvard Lampoon and all associated with these institutions, like the Friars Club alumni before them, have dominated American humor for a long time. That doesn't mean that they're not responsible for some really funny stuff, but enough is enough already.

3. There's a certain middle class passivity in the humor of these institutions. I don't believe they've ever been truly all that subversive, but maybe they were never meant to be. All I'm saying is that sometimes I like my satire to have more tooth to it than these guys tend to generate.

Marky Mark said...

Jed, Jed, Jed...

Admit it. You dissed the Simpsons. Stop blaming us for misunderstanding you. You are coming through loud and clear.

You're just wrong. The Simpsons is loaded with fantastic visually-driven gags. I'll give you just one example out of the many. Have you ever seen the episode where Homer jumps out of the car he is trying to run off a cliff, only to roll on the ground, hit a rock, and roll back in the car?

And all this crap about the Holy Grail of satire, Harvey Kurtzman - I'm not buying it. And I'll admit I just dissed Kurtzman. I love love LOVE old MAD comics and Kurtzman, but using that as a yardstick for satire is getting old. Just trust me on that one. I'll never convince you. I couldn't convince Kim Thompson, and he's bullheaded but not as bullheaded as you. So I know I won't win that one with you.

Let's see, what else... well, I don't know if you or that bitchy animation blog has brought this up, but to anybody who thinks the animation in the Simpsons is crappy, I just think you are on Planet Koo Koo.

We love ya, Jed! Grouches make the world go 'round!

SRBissette said...

Hey, the bloggo has gone wongo -- no posting today! Waaah! Life is good.

Jed said...

Sure, I dissed the Simpsons. Guilty as charged! But why is it your either on the bus or off the bus? Can't I be critical of the show without being a playa hater?

The Simpsons surely has a lot of visually driven gags, but there's a distinction to be made, between the kind of visual gag that someone comes up with in a writing jam session, and a visual gag that comes from drawing lots of pictures. Its just a different process, which results in a different product. If the Simpsons was written by people who could draw, you'd have a different product. I don't know if it would be better or worse, it would just be different.

I don't think Kurtzman's the Holey Grail of satire. I point to Kurtzman, only because the best the Lampoon guys could do to follow him up, was Animal House. There are TONS of great satirists. They just don't happen to write for Conan O'Brian.

And, yes, the Simpsons can sometimes serve as pretty good satire. That's the problem with Futurama and present day Mad--mostly parody and hardly any satire. But what makes the Simpsons work is a confluence of things, including satire and a heavy dose of post-modernism.

And I have a beef with post-modernism too, but that's another discussion.

I never said the animation in the Simpsons was crappy by the way. And to prove I'm on board with you, Mark, I think the psychedelic hot pepper hallucination episode with Johnny Cash in it was gorgeous!

Jed said...

I would also request that I be awarded the rank of "crank", over the ignominious malediction, "grouch". I've earned it.

greg said...

SNL never has been and never will be high-brow humor, and I doubt they'll ever make any attempt to sharpen their satirical wit. They're just trying to be silly and make people laugh. To think anything else is to overthink it.

And anyone who says SNL isn't funny anymore (or ever) hasn't seen this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LAZgcC3jgo

Sloths!

BonzoGal said...

Jed, I wasn't disagreeing with you, I was agreeing with Mark... uh... I think...

I liked the adult diaper dig! That made me choke on my tea.

Have I mentioned I'm going to meet Al Feldstein this weekend?

Benny said...

I agree that the Simps doesn't come from cartooning as much as its predecessors, but I feel like the writers have the visual gags in mind all the time, they don't write dialogue to invent them.
Many of the funny people I know speak and write in the form of sight gags, not dialogue. Their descriptions are hilarious, but their dialogue is not.
I wouldn't be surprised if the writing team was divided up just that way: into wordsmiths and scenesmiths.
It's up to Ootit Choomagong, or whatever his name is over in Unit 7, to make it work.
It might be interesting to see it animated like the Silly Symphonies "Funny Little Bunnies" and "Woodland Cafe".
That would be truly crazy and great!

Right after I wrote that, I imagined Marge as anyone else but the lady with the flat slippers and one-line green dress and I just don't know. . . .the animation as it stands now is just too much part and parcel to the whole experience. It is what it is.

Benny said...

Hey, by the way,
it took me THREE times to get the blog owner message on that last "post."

BonzoGal said...

I know with Monty Python (yes, Mark, I know, you aren't a huge fan of British comedy) that the writers/performers always said they were in three camps: John Cleese and Graham Chapman wrote all the loud/violent sketches, Michael Palin and Terry Jones wrote all the outdoor/cinematic sketches, and Eric Idle wrote all the wordplay sketches. So two kinds of physical comedy and one kind about words. (And Terry Gilliam wrote all the linking animations, but that was another thing entirely.)