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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Now that’s funny! » » Good one liners (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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gabelson
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Inner circle
conscientious observer
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Profile of gabelson
Thanks for all the cool feedback, guys. My four comic inspirations (not that you asked) growing up, were George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Johnny Carson and Robert Klein. They were really the first "wave" of comics to move out of the storytelling mode, the "suit" mode, and into the "have you ever noticed", observational humor style, commenting on odd things we ALL see, hear, watch do... stuff to which audiences related so well. They really broke down the final walls between audience and performer. Of course, Pryor in his day was so much more than a "comedian". His stage performances were filled with pathos, pain, personal trauma, and GREAT ACTING; his humor that much more biting and sharp becase of it, and always hit you at gut level. If you want to see what perfect stand-up is about, the zenith of the art form, rent any in-concert Richard Pryor movie (I love "Live on the Sunset Strip"). Live stand-up just doesn't get any better. Now, some of the folks I came up through the ranks with- Sam Kinison (brilliant) and Bill Hicks (incredibly brilliant) in particular, (and even Dice Clay, love him or hate him), took controversy to the next level. If Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor were considered "dirty", these guys made them look like Sunday school teachers. In fact, they worked so blue, there was literally nowhere to go from there... it was the end of the line for "shock" comedy, I believe, and a turning point in the genre- which is why, I think, my other colleauges (I dare not call them peers- they are household names; I remain an unknown),Jerry Seinfeld, Ray Romano, Larry Miller, Jon Stewart, Paul Reiser, Rita Rudner, Ellen DeGeneres,... acheived another level of success entirely. They related to audiences as the "everyman" (or "everywoman"). They were neither "suits" nor "freaks". They were us. And every single one of those people were, as all great musicians are, TECHNICALLY FLAWLESS. Here's a sample from Seinfeld's act, (going back to what I said in an earlier post), regarding economy of words - advice I'm ignoring myself right now! Listen to how LITTLE set-up there is in relation to punch lines- (and Jerry, if you're reading this, please forgive me if I haven't quoted you verbatim): "Ever wait on line at the post office?" (ONE SET-UP). "It's maddening! They keep going in the back!... you're screaming in your head- 'He's going in the back again!!!' And there's a sign "Collect stamps- fun for the whole family." ONLY while waiting on line at the post office, could collecting stamps sound like fun! And c'mon, NOTHING is 'fun for the whole family'- there ARE NO massage parlours with ice cream and free jewelry! What I want to know, is, why do they have pictures of criminals hanging on the walls? What do they want us to do- WRITE to these guys?? (JERRY PRETENDS TO WRITE) "I've had it up to here with your activities! Why, a man of your potential..." Why pictures of criminals? I look at the guy behind me on line- if it's not him... that's pretty much all I can do. And what I want to know is... WHY DIDN'T THEY HOLD ON TO THE GUY WHILE THEY WERE TAKING HIS PICTURE!! That's why there's a front and side view! The front is him standing there (POSES), the side is him leaving (POSES).
Ok, folks, now like it or not, look at how many f**king jokes there are in a MAYBE two minute bit. That's truly a gift, no doubt, but it's something as public speakers- whether you're a comic, magician, mentalist or CEO, to which we should all aspire.

Best,
G
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