THE COMEDY MANIFESTO (v 1.0)
A spectre is haunting the entertainment world, and that spectre is the rebirth of quality comedy. Two things are certain in our world: I. There is a wealth on untapped comedy resources out there currently operating independently. II. It is high time the comedists who believe in changing the modern comedy scene should join forces.
The Two Types of Humorous Entertainment
Comrades, the history of humorous entertainment is that of two sides eternally competing against each other like yin and yang or Michael Jackson and normal human behavior: the genuinely funny and the abruti (or dumb, if you are abruti-minded and reading this). The genuinely funny are the wits, the absurdists, and the personalities who can generate laughter without resorting to stupidity and other lowest-common-denominator devices. Abruti would be those who produce and enjoy utter crap like MADtv.
The modern historical struggle of comedy has been between these two forces. In the 1920s, 30s, and 40s, the Hollywood studio system (mainly the greedy oligarchs at MGM) consistently tried to bring in the top comedic talent of the day and transform them into routinized abruti crap. Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd shunned them, built independent studios, became prosperous and continued to put out respectable, critically-acclaimed films. Buster Keaton had wild success as an independent, then joined with the studios and went bankrupt, financially and artistically. The Marx brothers had a similar tale, going from critically-successful and memorable output to utter crap and near bankruptcy after they joined MGM.>
Coincidence? There’s no such thing, comrades.
In the 1950s Golden Age of television, standardized abruti format may have reigned over certain shows, but the greatest moments come from the harnessing of personalities such as Jack Benny or Lucille Ball, and the censorship codes prevented hack writers from catering to vapid audiences.
Woody Allen spent most of his career shunning the traditional Hollywood way of doing things, refusing even to go to Oscar ceremonies. Most of the successful ground-breaking comedy shows in the last thirty years have rejected something about standardization: be it WKRP, early SNL, or even cult favorites like The State or Kids in the Hall.
However, today abruti comedians and producers have taken over 98.3% of the air time devoted to comedies. They've caused the sitcom to be placed on life support and sketch comedy to be headed that way as well. Finding a truly great comedy in the Cineplex is often a futile search.
That is what being abruti and giving to the lowest common denominator does. It generates short-term, fleeting financial success, but nothing more. Nothing from abruti humor has any permanence, any real cultural meaning. Heck, in the long term, I imagine genuinely funny material profits more than abruti humor, but that's neither here nor there.
The facts are that abruti humor is winning the struggle, and causing the near-death of an art-form. In his final book, "The Vulgarians at the Gate," Steve Allen partially foresaw this result. When you have comedy that relies on vulgarisms and banalities without any purpose, your art is in trouble. For every contract signed by Adam Sandler, Carlos Mencia, Tucker Max, and the like, the abruti oppressors gain an upper hand in reaffirming their own value.
Fellow fighters of the great struggle, I say to you, all great comedy of endearing value has been anti-abruti.
Anyone who knows deep in his or her heart that true comedy lies in something more than the lowest common denominator is a comedist deep at heart. Not too deep however; we’re not interested in your liver, weirdo.
Furthermore, true comedists know that the value of comedy is objective. Billy Wilder's comedies are roundly funny. Dwarves, gay people, and scatology are not, unless of course the dwarves are members of the Lollipop Guild and they’re telling Hillary Clinton how to run for President, but that’s another story.
Those who claim comedy is purely subjective are disguised members of the abruti class wishing to defend their ignorance and vapidity. Either the premise of the joke is humorous or it isn't; either the consumer gets the joke or they don't. If you run across one of these people, kick them in the balls, because they probably watch American Dad religiously and we would hate for them to reproduce. Remember, we must outbreed our oppressors.
Comrades, this is not to say there is no gray area, because there certainly is. Mountains are gray, and so is Stephen Colbert’s heart. A comedist, however, will always be able to see the value in something, if there is any, even if they particularly do not understand. That’s because comedists are always smarter than everyone else by stupendous leaps and bounds (by definition in fact). A member of the abruti class will never be able to tell you why Richard Pryor is not funny. This is a trait the petit abruti despises, and it is the critical flaw in their line of thinking.
In short, anyone who demands more from modern-day comedy writing than bad flatulence jokes, SNL-style retardation, and ad nauseum clichéd pop culture references should immediately join the comedist movement, as in before you take your next breath. In fact, don’t worry about breathing. Dying is never in vain for true comedists. After all, your death may well be inspiration for the final triumph of good comedy over evil! To celebrate your martyrdom, we will make your funeral hilarious, but these details are far in the future.
The Ten Pillars of the Comedist Creed
The struggle over comedy is a political struggle. To fully achieve our goals, we must band together and follow a common creed.
All good comedists should openly criticize and mock abruti-style comedy at every opportunity, especially the petit abruti. Go to movie theaters and picket the next Adam Sandler movie (but please, do it only with the official Comedist Party Picket Sign).
All good comedists must learn as much as possible about the movement, preferably by spending every single day pouring over every single detail of thecomedymanifesto.com. Forsake eating and drinking if you must.
All good comedists must support the actions of other comedists. Comedists must link together and find a common force to fight. Even if someone sleeps with your spouse, you should forgive and forget if they are a comedist.
All good comedists must spread the word about the party to as many other potential comedists as possible. Shirts are a good idea. Signs are better. Running naked through the streets of Omaha is ever better still. Be creative in how you spread word about the party, but remember to only use officially licensed movement gear when doing so.
All good comedists should fully support the sponsors of the comedist movement by only purchasing official movement merchandise, including only wearing official comedist clothing.
All good comedists should immediately pledge a donation to the furthering of the movement’s goals, preferably in untraceable cash and/or non-taxable favors.
All good comedists should only marry and/or breed with other comedists. Fertile young women are especially encouraged to attempt reproduction with the founders of the movement. Any young female wishing to voluntarily sacrifice herself for the greater cause should contact the Webmaster without delay.
All good comedists should openly push for comedy education in the public school system. A solid foundation in the art of comedy should be taught right alongside evolution, creationism, and the flying spaghetti monster.
All good comedists should run for political office and support comedist candidates. We must put comedists into political power to achieve our goals. Remember, crap like that Robin Williams movie Man of the Year is merely anti-comedist propaganda put forth by our oppressors.
All good comedists stand firm when approached by the authorities. Chances are, a governmental committee will form to deny us our 1st Amendment rights. Call it a hunch. When asked what you know about the individuals involved in the movement, good comedists keep their mouths shut. Friends don’t out friends.
CAN FOLLOW THESE TEN PLANKS OF A STABLE COMEDIST FOUNDATION? DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A COMEDIST? DO YOU WISH TO RENOUNCE ALL ABRUTI BEHAVIOR AND DEVOTE YOUR LIFE TO LEADING THE MOST IMPORTANT CRUSADE IN THE HISTORY OF CASUAL CRUSADING? ARE YOU SICK OF READING ALL-CAPS? IF SO, YOU ARE RIPE FOR MEMBERSHIP IN THE COMEDIST PARTY!
GOOD COMEDISTS OF THE WORLD UNITE; WE HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE BUT OUR BRAINS!
To become a signatory on the manifesto and officially join the comedist party, send an email with your pledge of membership here. Please note in the e-mail why you want to join and how you think you are helping the movement. Also note that we can change the manifesto at any time without warning and that membership essentially signs away everything you might previously have called “valuable,” such as your life, your first born child, your house, etc. Just a small legal clause we needed to get out of the way.
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