dimanche 11 septembre 2011

Is this supposed to be funny?

Anglo-Saxons songs are covered the world over in about every existing languages, Italian and Japanese films at the heights of their glorious period were distributed all over Europe and America, novels from all countries are translated in many languages from Arabic to Norwegian and from German to Korean and one may consider these exchanges are a positive effect of globalization (although there's nothing new here save the size of the audience market)

This is all fine and dandy but yet, there is a segment of the entertainment industry which has definitively stayed within national borders and it's the stand up comedians' performances.

Not that humor is absolutely confined to each and every national culture, although it certainly is a major factor when it comes to political references or strictly historical facts or characters. 

I've chosen Lenny Bruce because that's the first name I could think of, not being familiar with the American entertainment scene, but certainly hundreds of other comedians could as well have been picked up. Needless to say, I don't understand one single word of what he says and it probably is totally meaningless to a non-American listener.

But there's no doubt that there exist many, many comedians whose performances could be translated and re-enacted by European or Chinese comedians and it would be funny all the same.

Of course there are such stand up comedians in every country and culture in the world whose wit, quirks, repartees, imagination and observation skills could benefit to millions of people in the world, simply it seems this market is totally ignored by the entertainment business and I don't know why.

Above is a video of a French female stand-up comedian's act (she's also an actress, a theater director etc.) which I suppose could perfectly be translated into German or Polish and it would be as efficient in these languages as it is in French.

By the way, how funny is that comedian???

10 commentaires:

Anijo a dit…

Lenny Bruce is an amazing comedian. The lady, Rita Rudner... not so funny, in my opinion anyway.

Rocket a dit…


This guy is funny but I hope you can understand "talk from the hood" His name is Chris Rock. Check out his multiple videos on youtube.

Thanks to Lenny and Hef and Bob Guccione for lightening up the US quite a bit since the 60s and making what was once a crime something that is accepted and enjoyed today.

Ned Ludd a dit…

George Carlin is one that I would recommend and also Richard Pryor

Flocon a dit…


Of course I had never heard of that Chris Rock guy (yet he has an article on the French Wiki and in may other languages) but I enjoyed the video a lot.

Heureusement qu'il y a des incrustations vidéo, des arrêts sur image et some written words, it helped.

I particularly enjoyed the last part with the mad woman :-))

(I notice the YouTube video has been watched over 8 million times!!!)

Flocon a dit…


Why am I not surprised the video you link to is titled Religion is bullshit???

Watched over 10 million times!!!

Flocon a dit…


Just for what it's worth, the most famous French stand-up comedian of the last 35 years was a guy named Coluche.

He wasn't exactly sophisticated but very powerful.

As for Rita Rudner, I just randomly picked her name up on the Wiki list you linked to the other day.

Anijo a dit…


It has always been difficult for me to understand most French humor. To comprehend most French humor requires that I would understand more about French history, politics and culture that I actually understand.

As for laughing at believers, perhaps one needs to understand more of the cultural influences that they have to understand what they're attempting say.

And perhaps believers don't understand enough about non-believers to comprehend entirely what they're attempting to say.

In the end, attempting to communicate with other people of varying stripes and colors is an art.

Ned Ludd a dit…


one of the best current French comics is Laurent Ruquier. He has couple of tv programs, the best being the late night "On n'est Pas Couché".

Unfortunately with him, one needs to be up to date on what is happening in France. He also writes plays and does one-man shows.

BTW, sometimes I think you take me too seriously. Maybe my humor is sometimes obtuse.

Flocon, here is another George Carlin from a tv show he had Touched By an Atheist

Flocon a dit…

Je ne crois pas qu'il y ait un humour français, polonais ou brésilien Anijo, le contexte fait la différence mais les mécanismes de base du rire sont les mêmes.

I may have already narrated this episode but back in 1984 a Swedish girl in Götenbourg told me a "joke" that I heard in my school some 15 years earlier.

I guess said joke isn't dead and is still running its course through the world and possibly the ages.

Who knows what is the life span of a joke? Do we possibly still smile at jokes that have been narrated by the Colonials 300 years ago or even by the Romans 2.000 years ago?

One of them has been travelling through centuries and is still heavily loaded with humour : A Jewish guy wanted to make a joke to his mother and his pals and he invented a story about him being the son of God etc. And to his great, great amazement it worked!!!

(OK, I admit, Ned insisted that I tell the joke on the blog)

Ned Ludd a dit…

Flocon, in the program with Richard Pryor, you may not understand the end because it refers to a long-standing type of joke: "Yo' Mama" that apparently begin in the Black community.

Other styles of jokes that are eternal are "light bulb" jokes and "blonde" jokes.