humorless

In the Hall of the Humorless King

I recently read an article written by Gilbert Gottfried. I really enjoyed it.

I had no idea that Gilbert Gottfried was such a potty mouth! Now, I am not trying to hate on Gilbert, not at all. I am just totally surprised. Here is where I proceed to probably insult Mr. Gottfried, and should apologize in advance. But I fired my Public Relations department, and do not have the faculty to write an insincere, public apology. Instead, I shall revel in the fact that he will more than likely never read what is written here and just go ahead with my story.

I remember G. when he was on “Saturday Night Live” back when I was a child to young to be watching and appreciating “Saturday Night Live.” Then, I did some other stuff for a couple of years decades, and he was the voice of some Disney bird. Then he was a goose. I am pretty sure that I saw him in many other places, I am rather fond of the dude; I just think those memories have been lost to absinthe, redheads, and random acts of weirdness. But I am rambling…

I may have possibly dated myself, but I am still younger than you, Gilbert.

I knew that fucking goose sounded different, and I guess because I have really been avoiding the news due to various elephant-related publicity/legal reasons, I was unaware exactly what happened. During my media blackout I was hornswaggled and provided with a discount Gottfried (that was not intended to be as potentially bad-ish-sounding as may seem. Although now that I have said that, it sounds worse, eh?)! As all of you non-cave dwellers know, there was some alleged improper joke business involving a tsunami – I accept that I am extremely late to the party.

Yadda yadda yadda…I am not writing a Summation of Gottfried. So, toward the end of the article, he drops the “c” bomb. You know, that word that somehow manages to make everyone wince: “corporation.” Yeah, those corporation cunts at Aflac fired him, and he goes on to talk about how he is a comedian who uses the word “cunt.” Here is where I had to stop and make sure that my coffee was in fact coffee, and that I had not been sitting in the kitchen drinking Honey Jack Daniel’s for the last hour from a very, large mug. Did Gilbert Gottfried just write/say that? Yes. Yes, he did. And he said/wrote a bunch of other stuff. Here he was that Aflac bird, that parrot from Aladdin…cussing up a storm like he just started channeling the bastardized child of a grizzled old sea captain and Andrew “Dice” Clay!

“No one remembers me…”

I was totally taken by surprise…for a couple of minutes. Then I remembered that Gilbert Gottfried was a comedian. And a foul-mouthed one. While that may sound like a kick in the nuts to find out that there is a such thing as a foul-mouthed comedian, I find myself hard-pressed to find one that is not named Sinbad or Bill Cosby. Maybe some of those religious comics. But really, are they comics? Is it really funny to know that your humor exists because someone was brutally executed by Romans? I am getting way off topic. The point is that comedians have potty mouths, they say potty things, and sometimes these things are very inappropriate. That is why many of them appear on shows that warn about language and sexual content. Or have age restricted shows. Or have warning labels on their albums. Or dress in leather and manage to offend every woman on the planet by just smoking a cigarette and holding a greasy comb. If I know this, then surely someone has to know this before they operate under the apparent assumption that this person is not going to say something that is going to offend someone, somewhere. It may even be a nation full of people that a different nation dropped giant bombs on…shit happens.

Upon further perusal: that Donkey from that movie, Eddie Murphy, right? Being a child of the Eighties, I was technically not supposed to see most of Eddie Murphy’s movies. Or listen to his stand up. Or ask him about transvestite prostitutes. He was definitely as potty-mouthed as Gilbs (I feel suddenly close to Mr. Gottfried, like nickname close). And Don Rickles was a talking potato-shaped childhood toy. When I was a child I would have never imagined in my wildest dreams that the plastic potato whose eye stalks I often chewed off, would be voiced by a guy who I found funny, but was supposed to not like because I am, technically, a minority. In the Seventies comedy was horribly segregated; I am ashamed that to this day I am surprised if a white person claims to know who Redd Foxx was, not Fred Sanford – Redd Foxx.

“Lies! He hath mentioned!!!!!!!”

At this moment I would like to point out that somehow Disney, allegedly the most family-oriented thing in the fucking world, nee, universe now that they own fucking “Star Wars” and George Lucas’ soul, hires potty mouths to amuse children. This is bigger than that whole Walt = Nazi thing. Look, at the same time that temporarily cuss-mouth restrained Gilbs was masquerading as a neurotic parrot, Robin Williams was subjecting the Arab community to his potentially ethnically insensitive, blue-skinned shenanigans. He also wore tights and called himself Peter Pan, and did some Popeye thing.

Now, there are some obvious persons involved in children’s fun-things that have gone on to due things that people have complained about, and later found reason to call said actions criminal (for example Bill Clinton) that I have not mentioned due to them being easy, unfair targets. But I am not talking about criminals, I am just discussing the foul-mouthed legends that we have all grown to love. Or fear. Like Sam Jackson. That dude can fuck your shit up in many ways, and sound awesome doing it. That is some shit there. It is because of that shit that parents go to these “kid’s films,” pay a gajillion dollars for stale, chemically enhanced “popcorn” and ten ounces of flat pop.

Jackson is no Joke, homie!

“Two of the many ways that I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger!”

So what is the big deal about the Gil-to-tha-bert? There was a time when stuff could be funny. All kinds of stuff. Almost everything. Go ahead, tell me with a straight face that you did not have a serious problem stifling your laughter the first time you saw a little kid fall face-first in a grocery aisle: legs up giving the kid the appearance of an arrow hitting a bullseye at a forty-five degree angle, arms flailing, sliding along on the side of the face as the siblings jump and point and da throws cantaloupes in an effort to slow the approach to the carefully stacked boxes of “Wheat Thins”. “Who the fuck looks for ‘Wheat Thins’ in produce?!” Dad screams while mom is worried about the potential wreckage to the teeth and realization of a life that will grow into a lonely existence masturbating in her basement with a disfigured face and too many empty packages of Oreo cookies to possibly belong to one person. But they do belong to one person. One sad, disfigured, sticky-handed person.

But I digress, or so I have been advised by my all-up-in-ma-grille secretary.

The point is that we used to be a nation with a sense of humor. We laughed in the face of death, racism, sexism, commies…you name it. Now, we are so worried with offending someone’s sensitive feelings because we have developed a thin, lacy skin. Granted, there are assholes, and people who just are generally offensive. I would venture to say that there was a time when most of us could tell the difference between an insult and a legitimate attempt at humor. Maybe, it is time we started to try that again.