They can trigger me, but they’ll never figure me out.

Today, we’re going to talk about pandering to an audience.
I’ve given this a whole lot of thought, and I’m not really quite sure if it’s an acceptable form of comedy or not.
See, in Bill Maher’s book, he talks about this comedian who started a club in a room down in Florida, filled the room the first night, and fucking blew the roof off the house. Came back the next night, high off his killing the previous night, walks out onstage…and finds the room full of the previous night’s audience, grinning and ready to be killed again.
Heh. Only, Comedy isn’t like Music. Songs get better with familiarity, and jokes get worse.
But people can’t get over that crazy Favorite Hits mentality.
Felicia was doing a rough night at Sam Morgans a while ago, and someone screamed out “Tupperware”, which is one of her jokes. So, she complied and got silence. Because the person whose favorite joke is was had, you know, *heard* the punchline, and the shock of the unexpected was gone. Felicia was like “What the fuck! You ASKED me to tell it!”
I went to see Nancy Cartwright speak at Vanderbilt a couple years back, and she was trying to speak about what it was like to work on the cast for so many years, but people kept screaming out “Say, ‘I bent my wookie!'” “Say ‘HA-ha!'”
And she just sighed and kept saying things in various voices.
Which brings me to my next point.
I met Artie Lange last Friday.
It’s true. If you look up “met” in the dictionary, it gives “walked past for four seconds and shook his hand” as an acceptable definition. So there.
Anyway, he performed a kick-ass show at the Funny Bone, and it was $50 that I can’t afford very well spent.
Only, the first ten minutes into it, I was thinking “Holy shit, for THIS I’m not eating anything but Ramen in the next week?”
Because the entire audience was Howard Stern fans shouting ridiculous quips out. And if you thought Howard Stern fans couldn’t possibly get more rowdy and obnoxious, try pumping alcohol into them for four or five hours before the show starts.
Anyway, they were just shouting out obnoxious inside jokes from the Howard Stern Show that I didn’t get at all, but earnestly hope they were orgasmically fulfilling for the rest of the crowd, because they ate up a good 20 minutes of potential actual comedy.
Artie obliged, and there was much hilarity from everyone else, but as soon as he got into the stand-up, he won me over. Very funny stuff. At one point, he apologized for the movie Dirty Work (which I actually really liked), asked the guy in the front row if he’d seen it, took out his wallet, and handed the guy ten bucks as compensation.
That’s funny shit.
But after meeting him, as mean and crass as he is onstage and on-air, nicest guy I’ve ever met. Friendly and thanked me for coming to his show.
And now, to hop to my final point. I saw Simpsons tonight, and it was very funny stuff. But they totally pander to the hardcore fans.
As Principal Skinner passed her by, Lisa called him Armin Tamzarian. In the episode right before it, there was a reference to Lisa’s crush on Mr. Bergstrom, way back from Season Two.
Sure, it’s fun little nuggets to see and makes us feel cooler for getting and recognizing them, but, I mean…I don’t know.
I don’t know how I feel about it.
To emphasize my point with a Simpson’s reference, aren’t we all just going to end up going on talk shows saying “I didn’t do it!” and getting nothing in the end?
I guess there are worse things that could happen.
Like never being able to go on a talk show in the first place.