i was flipping through the telly tonight at 12:30 - and with this being the week between christmas and new year's, well, there was even more nothing on than usual. everything a repeat. nothing intriguing. movies unwatchable.
so i found my way to community access tv, and a program called "staten island comedy show". i had nothing to lose.
okay, so i'll set the scene: there were six people, a dummy and a sock puppet sitting around a table. in theory, they were comedians and one singer. and they would get up, do their bit and then sit down for an uncomfortable conversation.
think carson, except crap.
i flipped to the show as a woman was doing her bit - a horribly unfunny joke about a man with a lisp which didn't have a punchline other than the woman talking with a lisp. it was, in a word, offensive. and in more words, unfunny and cruel. she also told a joke about how her friend wanted to go to hell's kitchen, and she replied that she wasn't hungry. is there an older joke about new york? is there? seriously, let me know.
anyways, she finally sat down, and it was the ventriloquist's turn, and his big bit was that his dummy couldn't add 5 and 5 together. somehow, when he wrote that, he expected laughter. somehow, that was supposed to be funny.
what was funny, by the way, was how much in hysterics the panel was at every joke told at that point - and how much i was in hysterics at how much they were in hysterics.
and then, the musical guest - and by musical guest, i mean a singer wearing a short sleeved sequined shirt - stood up and asked for track #3 on his karaoke machine, which was "this magic moment" by jay black and the americans. and, i'm gonna be honest with you - he sucked. and trust me, i know about sucky singers. i am one. and this guy sucked shit. think neil diamond, except nothing like neil diamond at all.
okay, he really wasn't all that terrible. he had a couple of lame attempts for jokes - including the one joke that might be older than the hell's kitchen gag, saying that staten island should be pronounced "is that an island?" you know, they usual you hear before the age of five when you grow up here. what was funny about him, however, was how he got feedback every time he sang the words "this magic moment". i laughed my ass off.
did i mention the graphic? they misspelled his last name.
how do i shut this off? why would i?
the next comedienne was a survivor of colon cancer - and as we all know, colon cancer survivors are a laugh riot. of course, you give her the benefit of the doubt. but she was completely awful. there just weren't jokes anywhere in her routine. i mean, i really wanted to laugh, really wanted to support her - she's been through enough - but there was nothing. nothing! but what made me laugh was the panel, who laughed aloud at the jokes at the wrong time, confusing her throughout.
but she's a cancer survivor. god bless her.
so as she's doing her bit, we all of a sudden hear a crinkling sound. and, behind this inspiration of a woman, we see that the host of the show is crumpling up a piece of paper - but he's doing it right by the mic on his chest, so the sound is deafening. so now i'm watching this guy, 'cuz i have to now, and as the cancer survivor is doing her routine, he throws his crumpled up piece of paper at someone on the panel.
and as she continues her bit, the paper flies back at the host.
seriously, could i make this up?
then they announce that the host (who at this point has added nothing at all to the conversations) and the singer actually have a sports show, and they cut to a clip from it. they were both wearing rastafarian wigs (why?) and they were breaking down the houston-indianopolis football game (and i'm only spelling indianopolis that way because that's how they spelled it on their chalkboard). the host gave his assessment of the texans with this amazing piece of scrutinizing analysis - brace for it, here it comes - "there are more holes in houston than in the grand canyon".
they came back to the panel, and the singer says, "boy we were winners!" - he was talking about the pick but it was so unintentionally sarcastic. could not be funnier.
did i mention that i couldn't breathe by now from laughter?
the host then asked the dummy why the pony couldn't talk. the answer? 'cuz it was a little horse. everyone erupted. what?
the host and the sock puppet then showed a pre-taped clip of their adventures in a cockpit. but the audio was all messed up and you couldn't understand a thing they said. it was awful, awful, awful stuff. why air it? did they check it out beforehand? didn't they know? then they came back to the panel and he had to explain the joke and the bit which wasn't worth it to begin with.
seriously, i can't make this up.
at this point, i shut it off. i didn't want to ruin the show. i mean, seriously, it was the best hour of television i could have asked for - all completely unintentional, everyone taking it seriously, all the worst jokes you can ask for. if they had tried to had make this exact show on purpose, it would have been even worse. it was far too amazing for people none too clever.
i can't wait for the next episode.