Comedians seem to be more attuned with truth than any act or role in humanity. The truly good comedians possess the wisdom of the philosopher, with the kind of worldly, day-to-day understanding that no philosopher seems to fully grasp, and then, with the creativity of an artist and the confidence of an orator they present their keen and profound insights into the minutia of human existence and what they mean in an entertaining fashion. When i see the comics of Zach Weinersmith (Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal), Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half), and Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes), or the cartoons of Don Hertzfeldt (Rejected Cartoons; Bitter FIlms), or watch the “fake” news of Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart, or listen to the stand-up of George Carlin, Louis C.K., and Mitch Hedberg, I find myself acknowledging truths of human existence that no philosopher, ritual, mythology, book, song, or piece of visual art can so well present to me. Comedians seem to connect to their audience more effectively than (for my money, anyway) any other role or profession. Now of course, comedians have their place: They should not replace literature, philosophy, religion, music, and so forth. But i find it fascinating to see their role in society today. They have never held much of a prominent role in humanity until fairly recently. Court jesters were more of mere performers, and while some philosophers, poets, mystics, and writers have come very close, never before has there simply been a label called “comedian” or “comic” which we’ve given to a person whose sole duty or service is to make people laugh. The greatest of comics (like the ones aforementioned) go well beyond this, and actually give us insights into the human experience. Comedy is truly a great art, if done effectively, and i think it may be the most starkly truth-based creation of humanity yet.
I’m not good at words, but i hope i made my point here well enough.
- J. Ibrahim Abuhamada