Monday, May 12, 2003

American comedy lame-perialism

No aspect of American imperialism – at least of the cultural, rather than military variety – irks me as much as the export-dumping of American comedy, and the secondary merchandise thereto. This Age/SMH article is a case in point:

So the Iraq war had the effect of gagging American stand-up comics (so much so that cyber-laughing is even better than the real thing, at least for the time being). Really?

Well, the Iraq war has had no gagging effect whatsoever on Australian stand-ups (nor non-Oz comics visiting for the recent Melbourne Comedy Festival), as far as I can tell. And if Iraq really did cut a swathe through the comedy clubs of America, dare I suggest that this shows that the regular talent of these clubs were, and are spineless gits unworthy of the title “comedian”.

This is not (just) a plug for Australia’s fearless stand-ups, whose average individual talent – I think, anyway – has to be the world’s highest. Further, this standard has been achieved almost entirely in an industry more “American” than America’s itself.
As I’ve pointed out here previously (20 March 2003) a considered Oz response to American cultural imperialism is complicated by the dual facts of the US showbiz industry (albeit not club comedy) being highly unionised, and Australian showbiz operating under a grace and favour system of state and corporate patronage. Well, Australian stand-ups have the benefit of none of these; they are dogged entrepreneurs, pure’n’simple.

So my polite suggestion to America: next time your stand-ups start sagging, why don’t you try importing some quality ones? (Hint: Australia has most of the world’s supply here). Writing a “Wow – Here are some wacky websites (instead)!” article is not only so-o-o-o 1995, it is a misguided vote of longer-term confidence in cringing, cowardly “comedy”. We just don’t even do this – much less write home about it.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?