Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Analysing sarcasm in Stand up Comedy- yeah right

One of the tools that some stand up comics use in their routines is sarcasm. Sarcasm is a strange animal in that we recognize it when we see/experience it yet it's hard to define. The same can be said of porn. In the following post, I will introduce you to a great comedian that uses sarcasm well in a dry, yet creative delivery. His name is Todd Barry and after listening to all of his albums, I began to see a central theme is his act. He tends to focus on what people "say" and then he dissects what is said and finds humor in it. Either by highlighting the fallacy in what is said or in exposing the flawed logic behind the words. I did a little bit of research and realized that he graduated with a degree in English so it makes sense that his focus would be on words and how they are used in every day situations. This is a gift and is very difficult to replicate. To me the humor is found not only in his tone but also in his slow, methodic delivery. I really recommend that you get Todd Barry's "From Heaven" (NO I'm not paid to endorse him. But I bought it and was very pleased with the material in it.) http://www.amazon.com/Heaven-Todd-Barry/dp/B0012IWHIM. The other thing that he does is he examines what people say and do to show you how silly it is. For example in one of his bits he said that when he mentioned that he attended his college, a person "booed" him because he went to a rival school. He then ridules that person for having a different opinion and the bit became a funny examination on why people "boo" people in the first place. The central theme being, you boo because the other person likes something diferent than you. He has another bit about meeting with an agent that rents apartments in New York who told him, as a selling point, that Jessica Parker lived accross the street. His response was classic-" "How convenient". In the absence of listening to his works, It's difficult to describe the nuiances that make for great sarcasm in stand up but I just wanted to introduce my bloging friends to this theme and to present a great comedian that does that well. Below is a sample clip. But it still is not as good as his album. Enjoy!

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