Reading Gina's post about the passing of Harvey Korman caused me to start thinking about comedy in general.
I have loved comedy since I was a little kid. I remember the great comedians like Red Skelton, Jackie Gleason, Milton Berle, Alan King, Dick Van Dyke, Bill Cosby, Bob Hope, Carol Burnett, Tim Conway, Harvey Korman and many many others. All of them showed us how to laugh at ourselves and everyday living. They weren't crude, rude, didn't need to cuss, nor make lewd remarks. They all provided laughs with their ad lib comments and actions. Today's comedians would do well to watch these greats in action and learn why they were so great.
I don't find much comedy funny today. It is usually done at someone's expense, sexual in nature, gross, and sometimes downright mean. Today's comedians are lazy comedians because they want the laughs without doing the work. I believe one of the common threads for all of these great ones were their understanding of human nature and the fact they could see humor in their own lives.
A number of comedians today started out the same way. I remember Jay Leno before the Tonight Show and he was genuinely funny. He didn't make lewd remarks or do sexual humor and he became known for it. Then he began hosting the Tonight Show and, as far as I am concerned, he has ceased to be funny.
One exception today is Bill Cosby. I have followed him since the '60s and he is as funny today as he was then and he has remained true to his art. No cheap laughs, just great humor.
God gave us humor in order to lighten up our lives. But as with so much else today, we have cheapened it.
Here is a clip of Tim Conway and Harvey Korman's dentist sketch. This is an example of true comedy. If you can view this and not find it funny, I advise you to check your pulse.