Congratulations, America! Your most popular comedian (voted by you) is a cripple. How telling, how sadly ironic. Please don’t bash me over the head with your political correctness, or call me a bigot. Try to understand this simple comedy concept – the audience should be laughing with the comedian. As soon as they’re laughing AT the comedian, s/he becomes a joke, a fool. That’s not comedy – that’s circus. Just ask Carrot Top. A comedian is a performer before anything else. S/he has content, acting skills, timing, a rich back story or environment to draw material from. Josh Blue – the latest winner of NBC’s reality show – has cerebral palsy. When he’s not making fun of himself intentionally (via palsy-related jokes), he does it unintentionally (body language and verbal slips). That’s our laughter at his expense, our uncomfortable laughter, despite how comfortable he is with it. The remaining time he recycles 3 jokes that have nothing to do with his disability (thank god), but it’s the SAME THREE JOKES!
So Josh is the guy America thought was funnier than Chris Porter? Chris, who never repeated a line, could improvise on the spot, and his range of topics was vast. Josh is the guy America loved more than Ty Barnett? Ty also made jokes at his expense, but they were common self-deprecating jokes – about laziness, about vanity, about being cheap. We see this in us, and we laugh along. Why the hell are we going to laugh at a cripple? Maybe when he falls, and twitches on the ground, we’ll smile, but even that smile is “forbidden”, black humour, not socially acceptable. Funny, but not acceptable. What do you accomplish by giving such a person a mike? Especially if he has no material besides his disability? When does the well run dry of same old “I wave my hands funny, laugh at me” jokes? “My mother is the only person who can tell when I’m drunk” – groan.
I’m so pissed, I cannot form sentences. Is anyone listening out there – you picked a talentless cripple for the funniest comedian! I understand it’s a popularity vote, but weren’t you supposed to vote on talent? Comic talent? Even earlier departures from the show like Gabriel Iglesias and Joey Gay had more character and material. They might have been one-trick ponies (Gabe kept making fun of his fat, and Joey – of his last name), but they were likeable, and they could go beyond the obvious jokes. Wade into new territory, try new themes. I laughed with them, as well as at their “faults”. With Josh, I only laughed at him.
What good is a comedian if his ONLY source of funnies is his disability? Not a vice, not a weakness, but an actual disability – something you’re born with, something people turned away from when they saw you, something that makes others uncomfortable. You laugh at that (as a defense mechanism), you accept that, and even embrace that, and suddenly you’re the funniest guy around? No, you’re just a clown, Josh, and I hope you’re in on the hoax with NBC producers. The question is what is your shelf life as a comedian? And how much are you going to distort true comedy by pushing this self-inflicted one-note humour on us?
Funny is when you laugh at a situation, at a scenario, wordplay, juxtaposition of people/things and events. If you’re laughing at a bulgy-eyed guy who’s waving his hands, that’s not comedy, folks. That’s circus. And although I like Josh’s energy and personality, I just didn’t see him as the best comedian in the group. Congratulations, America. You wanted to know who’s the funniest, and somehow voted for the one you feel MOST SORRY ABOUT. In a way, Josh is the saddest, not the funniest of the comedians. Ok, on a second thought, Roz was the saddest being in that group – trying to embrace her drinking/drugging past in a comedy routine. It’s not funny if it’s a one-note joke you can’t relate to.
Thanks to NBC for at least getting the lineup right – most of the contestants were really good this season, and worth watching week after week. My money from day one was on Ty or Chris – always fresh, and always funny. Josh Blue is a sympathy vote winner. And, for my last despicable joke, can you imagine this guy working as a comedy writer? His options are limited to one act. Way to go disproving Darwinism again. Class clown – definitely; America’s newest comedian – not even close.