February 22, 2007

Surely you jest!

No I donít, and donít call me Shirley!

Another week, another kavalcade of komedy here on the Knee-slapping HI-larity Edition of the Axis of Weevil Thursday Three!

As we do every week, weíll ask you three questions, and itíll be up to you to answer them, either by leaving a comment below, or a link to your blog. You might have guessed that this weekís topic is about funny things, in which case youíre right. Which isnít really funny at all. BUT THATíS OKAY! Think up something funny to go with these, please:

1) Who is the funniest person you know personally in real life?

2) Who is your favorite comedian (living, dead, or both)?

3) Which type of comedy do you find most humorous?

Alrighty then--slip on out on a banana peel and answer those as best you can. As for my answers:

1) I guy I went to Auburn with named Sammy West is probably the most funny person Iíve known, aside from my Aunt Margaret. I canít repeat most of her jokes, though. Sammy is a native of Jackson, Tennessee, birthplace of genial game show host Wink Martindale.

2) Iíd have to say Jonathan Winters.

3) I enjoy rapid improvisational type stuff (Winters) which requires a very sharp mind and a familiarity with a wide cross section of popular culture to be effective, followed closely by the cerebral/absurd ensemble work of Monty Python.

So there you go. And yes, I thought it was going to be funnier, too.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at February 22, 2007 07:52 AM

First? What, nobody else is funny?

Well, I'm up.

Posted by: skinnydan at February 22, 2007 09:22 AM

Comedy is hard.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at February 22, 2007 10:18 AM

Well, apparently some of us may not be feeling too jovial today...(just kidding).

Here are a few answers:

1) I have some uncles who in their younger days had great senses of humor, although they also liked to "pick on" people in their humor. And a couple of friends from my college days were great at the art of puns.

2) I agree with Jonathan Winters being perhaps the best, but (and I know this probably dates me) I think Red Skelton could rival him.

3) The type of comedy Jonathan Winters does--the improvisational humor--although very few can pull that off. Much to my surprise, though, in watching Letterman this month I have found that there are some extremely talented *ventriloquists* of whom I had never heard. Jim Barber and Seville, for one, is a tremendously talented act and you can watch a video of their "Late Show" appearance here. There were others who were quite talented as well, and I actually wonder if they are the best comedians working now.

Posted by: Stan at February 22, 2007 10:50 AM

I like ol' Red, too. He doesn't have that bizarre streak in him like Winters and did more of the traditional set-up/punchline type stuff, but with the advantage of actually being funny.

Ventriloquists I can't really like. Way too many bad ones out there.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at February 22, 2007 11:03 AM

1. My sister is the funniest I know. She and Lyman play well with one another.

2. I'd forgotten Jonathon Winters. Since I watch so little television, I don't even know the comedians anymore. SCTV was a lot of fun. Sautyrday Night Live was funny somewhere in the wayback machine.

3. So I guess I prefer ensembles, spoofs, parodies, fast flying quips.

Posted by: Janis Gore at February 22, 2007 11:30 AM

Ahem. Saturday. Geez.

Posted by: Janis Gore at February 22, 2007 11:31 AM

I thought you were just going for the comedy in a Foster Brooks sort of way.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at February 22, 2007 11:33 AM

I forgot to mention the impressionists such as Rich Little, who can be quite funny. Even Letterman can still be funny, although he seems to be coasting some these days.

Posted by: Stan at February 22, 2007 03:25 PM

This is funny. Sorry Iím late but Iím sick and in Savannah.

1. My father was as funny as anyone Iíve ever know. he had a very quick wit.
2. Winters would be a good choice as would any of the 50ís/60ís guysótiming timing timing
3. I like the british stuff from the quick wit to Benny Hill.

Posted by: jim at February 22, 2007 03:30 PM

Yeah, Stan--I like Frank Caliendo (The Madden Guy), but the whole impressionist thing isn't what it used to be.

Sorry to hear your on your sickbed, Jim. Get to feeling better soon.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at February 22, 2007 03:49 PM

1. Richard Stubbs. There may be others, but I laugh at him when he opens his mouth. He even makes the serious interviews funny. Sometimes the serious interviewees don't get it, which takes the funniness to a whole new level.

2. Stubbs comes close. Maybe John Cleese.

3. The black comedies that are founded on the very worst of human characteristics, like Fawlty Towers. Original situation comedy - Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton. Rapid fire standup that is literate. Scatology isn't funny. Abuse isn't funny. Stupid isn't funny. Oddly enough, I found Paul Hogan in his TV days to be monumentally unfunny.

Posted by: kitchen hand at February 22, 2007 09:11 PM

Yet another last minute entry from me.

Posted by: Sarah G. at February 22, 2007 11:25 PM

I mentioned to Sarah that it's interesting that everyone who's played along seems to like the same sort of rapid fire cerebral comedy. There's probably something to that when it comes to the type of online places you frequent, although I'm not sure exactly how to word it. But it looks like people with similar comedy tastes might hang together even more strongly than those with similar tastes in things like politics.

I betcha there's a doctoral thesis in there somewhere.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at February 23, 2007 08:11 AM