HBO aired a
circle-jerk special the other night, “Talking Funny,” featuring our love, our obsession, one of our favorite mammals walking the earth today, Ricky Gervais. Along with Chris Rock, Louis C.K., and Jerry Seinfeld, you’ve got four of the greatest funny-men to ever grace mankind with their existence (count me in for said ego-stroke party). The guys sit around and basically shoot the shit about what it means to be funny, to them and to us, and also how they deal with the pressure of now being in the upper-upper-upper echelon of the comedy ranks. This proved to be a mildly insightful and enjoyable way to spend an hour of my time.
Of the more interesting tidbits, the guys discuss recycling material, and I found out that Rock and C.K. totally scrap a show after they do it for a year; they never go back to any of those bits. I think this is kind of brave, and something I’d never even thought of during my casual viewing of stand-up specials. Seinfeld, on the other hand, says he tends to take things down in stages, so he can still be using material that’s up to ten years old. Jerry! What the hell! I certainly didn’t expect that out of these four geniuses, Seinfeld would be my least favorite in the room (although, after “The Marriage Ref”, what the hell did I expect). I just couldn’t get over his vanilla-ness. I forget that the man who brought us “The Master of Your Domain” is the same who refuses to swear in his shows. Hmmm. To each his own, and maybe it’s cause I’ve got a mouth like a construction worker, but this annoyed me. Not to say I hate the guy, cause he is quite funny and his contribution to the collective consciousness is immeasurable, but still. I find the others to be kind of light years ahead of him, even though he probably paved the way for these guys. And so it goes.
Louis C.K. emerged from this show as my second favorite, deepening my love for his self-deprecating, loathing, overall dismal shtick. As the other guys point out, you can always feel and practically taste his contempt for the subjects he’s discussing. I could spend hours watching videos of his repertoire, and hearing him speak first-hand about how he does what he does made me feel snuggly inside.
Ricky, as always, fills me with immense joy. When he jumped up out of his seat, just cackling, I was practically beaming. I realize the pathetic-ness of that statement, but what can ya do. The guy seems like a helluva good time.
One of the highlights was C.K. talking about a favorite comedic moment from a random, crummy comedian long ago who sang the line “Sitting on a cock cause I’m gay” to the tune of Otis Redding’s “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay.” The guys go on about this for a while, with Seinfeld and C.K. saying sometimes you just love stupid crap; people like what they like, and Gervais saying essentially, no, we’re laughing at this guy and it’s ironically that we are enjoying it (which surprised me cause Gervais seems to love the shit out of penis jokes). Regardless of who’s right, it was slightly awesome to hear people like this talk about random shit like that, even if I did feel more like I was on the outside looking in.
Ah well, I just really hope somebody tells that crap comedian that one of his chance, probably half-drunk lines became something that Louis C.K. holds dear to his black, dead heart.