Recently, I've been catching up on your podcasts, having missed several weeks of live shows. One thing I've noticed is Mark's regular disparaging remarks about so called "comedies" such as The Hangover. A few weeks ago, while I watched Burn After Reading (3 laughs); a question occurred to me upon which I'd like to hear your views: is modern American comedy predicated on the assumption that the audience is stupid and that, as a consequence, the audience finds stupidity funny?
I'll rant about Burn After Reading because it is the
most recent example I have watched, but you could substitute any one of a
hundred other films. It was impossible to connect with the characters
played by Brad Pitt, George Clooney or Frances McDormand - they had no character
traits other than stupidity and self-centredness. They just weren't
interesting. Surely comedy works best when you have sympathy for a character?
The only main character in that film who wasn't vapid, stupid and self-centred
was John Malkovich's, Ossie Cox. Ditto, he was the only really interesting
person. And yet, in a film which starts off about the disintegration of his
life, he rapidly becomes a bit-part character because the
producers/director/writers found it easier to focus on the stupid
Anyway, what do you think? Is it possible for modern
Hollywood to produce a comedy about well rounded characters which relies on
intelligence and wit to be funny?
Love the show, Steve. Say "Hi" to
Jason Isaacs for me.