Facebook Friend Michael Smith:
I was running today and was streaming iHeart radio on my phone and heard a statistic I had to check out.
There was a discussion of how our society and culture has lost its ability to laugh and it was suggested that a measure of that could be the revenue realized from comedy movies vs. all other types.
I didn’t hear the number they quoted, so I went to look for myself and dug up some interesting numbers.
It was 7.24%.
Versus 12.5% in 2016, 13.5% in 2008 and 19.6% in 2000.
Of course, some of the action and adventure movies had comedy in them but for the pure definition, 92.76% of all movies in 2018 were NOT classified as comedies.
And it looks like America is about 64% less humorous as we were in 2000. In 18 years, we have lost two thirds of our funny.
I was surprised but not surprised – surprised that the number was that low but not really after looking at the comedy movies that were released in 2018.
They all pretty much sucked.
The leading revenue generator was “Night School” with Kevin Hart.
Given that there are almost no TV comedies (at least none that don’t bash hetero men, have a stereotypical gay character or have a political agenda) that are even mildly interesting or funny and SNL is truly awful in so many ways, there is a distinct lack of comedic production in the United States.
I didn’t think a lot about how to quantify it but I could feel it. Back about 6 months or so ago, I wrote what follows, titled “What Happened to the Happy?”:
“Over the past couple of weeks, few random thoughts and observations have been ricocheting around in my quite spacious empty skull like a marble in an empty paint can.
– If America is not to be allowed to judge the cultures of others, then other cultures are not to be allowed to judge America.
– If you think policies pursued by former presidents are now bad because they are pursued by the current president, the problem isn’t the current president, it’s you.
– America seems to be losing its sense of humor, and while it is appropriate to be serious about truly serious things, what many in America consider serious are ridiculous. It seems a minority of our country believes they have a solution and spend all their waking hours looking for problems that solution can solve…and in the process, making most Americans 100% miserable.
To me, the first two are sort of basic logic and reason. It’s the last one that really bothers me – and at the risk of a double entendre – it’s not even funny.
Losing our sense of humor is something that seems unusual in American history – one of the interesting aspects of the most difficult and dangerous times in American history, wars- and particularly WWII, gave rise to great comedians, actors and musicians – Bob Hope, George Burns, Red Buttons, Red Skelton, Jack Benny, Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Artie Shaw, the Andrews Sisters, Vera Lynn, Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Richard Burton, Kirk Douglas, Clark Cable, Audrey Hepburn, Jimmy Stewart – and Ronald Reagan to name a few…
Our entertainment industry has bought into the idea that they need to push the postmodernist agenda…and therein lies the problem. If everything is serious enough to be an issue, then nothing is funny. Many established comedians have stopped playing college venues due to this very fact – and as a result, the comedy institutions are producing young comedians who just aren’t funny, at least not to the majority of America.
Where are people like the original SNL cast, “The Not Ready For Prime-Time Players” – Laraine Newman, John Belushi, Jane Curtin, Gilda Radner, Dan Aykroyd, Garrett Morris, and Chevy Chase (even though Chevy Chase has turned into a bitter old man) or the original SCTV cast – John Candy, Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Catherine O’Hara, Harold Ramis, and Dave Thomas? Where are comedians like Cheech and Chong, Richard Pryor, and Eddie Murphy?
Where is the new Mel Brooks – for Christ’s sake, this man made arguably the funniest movie of all time, Blazing Saddles, a movie based on lampooning racial stereotypes. He even made a movie called “The Producers”, the central plot of which revolved around putting on a Broadway musical titled “Springtime for Hitler”.
Can you even imagine a film like “Blazing Saddles” getting green lit by Hollywood today?
As I told one of my kids, when you succumb to the postmodernist idea that there are no objective standards, that truth is relative and that opinions are equal in weight to facts, it should come as no surprise that people will be offended by anything and everything can be construed to fit any narrative. It just so happens that most of the narratives today are negative and designed to punish.
This is not to say America doesn’t have serious problems – because it does – but the attention given to issues created by the social justice postmodernists is taking time away from working on the real issues and without humor, the relief needed to deal with the true seriousness is missing.
What we need is a healthy dose of MAFA – Make America Funny Again.”
It seems the quantification agrees with the feeling I had last year.