Entertainment

Has stand up comedy gone out of fashion?

Stand up comedian

A few years back, I remember the only stand-up comedians in the average household’s DVD collection were Peter Kay, Lee Evans and for some inexplicable reason – Chubby Brown (No, I don’t know either – the early noughties were an odd, transitional time for us all.)

Then spring forward a few years circa 2008 and all of a sudden every advert at Christmas was for a different comic’s live DVD. Add this to the gold rush that was people scrambling for Wembley tickets to see a sweaty Lee Evans and a string of countless repeats of Mock the Week on lad’s channel Dave – we were living in a world of sarcasm and witty observations.

Stand up comedian

Maybe it was some incentive to lift the country’s spirits during the recession so we could forget our troubles by laughing with funny folk who looked like ordinary paupers like us but paced on the Apollo stage in shiny HD.

Suddenly we were introduced to a whole new bunch of household names; Russell Howard, Michael McIntyre, John Bishop, Jack Whitehall and even a few funny women surfaced to show they don’t all just joke about hating men and how hard it is to be a woman – well for about five minutes until they ran out of material.

The question – ‘Who would you rather marry? Peter Kay or David Beckham?’ was answered with a unanimous vote for the Bolton funny man – alas I couldn’t see this being true, but the sentiment was there. I like a joke as much as the next person – but I like chiselled features considerably more.

Then oddly pretty boy, Russell Howard came about and we ignored his slightly goofy but adorable features because funny was the new sexy.

The problem now is; we seem to be inundated with people trying their hand at comedy and our television screens have become completely saturated with mediocre comedians that haven’t grasped the concept that obvious jokes about Facebook and ‘ha ha you’re old and can’t understand the internet’ just are not and never will be funny – because we can come up with them ourselves.

It’s just not as clever anymore. There aren’t many naturally, funny characters about and the need to shock people rather than humour them has become more desirable than a simple chuckle.

It’s funny (or it’s not, which is kind of the point), we go through these phases of different television shows/genres that seem to descend on us like a fit of giggles from an old Peter Kay gag.

Reality TV, scripted reality TV, awful but entertaining chat shows – one minute we love them and actually care about a Kardashian’s relationship woes and the next we’re bored and couldn’t pick a Jersey Shore’r from a TOWIE line-up.

Same with comedians, they have all just sort of blended into one big, supposedly comical, mash.

It’s sad, we get spoilt, we get bored – I suppose I just never thought we would get bored of laughing.

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