Wednesday, June 10, 2009
I mentioned my parent's LP collection in a disparaging manner recently, but I should point out that they had some wonderful comedy albums. Two Fred Dagg records, Wayne & Shuster, and Bridge Over the River Wye. The last of which is a Spike Milligan penned masterpiece with Peter Sellers, Jonathan Miller and Peter Cook. These records had a lasting effect on my sense of humour. A sense of humour which I'm forced to apologize for on a regular basis.
Combine this with the Muppet Show, the occasional Marx Brothers movies that NZ TV would sneak on air on a Sunday Afternoon, my accidental discovery of The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy on the radio, and some Monty Python shows and I was set for a life of nerdy loneliness.
Somehow I survived. I restrained my tendency to quote these shows and records for long enough to fool a woman into marriage. I even managed to pass my somewhat suspect genes onto a new generation. Now thanks to digital technology I can inflict my humour on these unsuspecting children, mutating their humour to something that resembles my own.
Is a sense of humour like a slowly infecting disease? I'm a carrier for a particular strain, and close contact with me can result in the development of related symptoms. Of course, some people are immune. Others avoid contact; "Unclean! Unclean" they scream on the inside. People with the same or similar strains of humour tend to find solace in one another's company. Humour colonies, where isolation not only keeps others safe, but strengthens the strain for those in the colony.
Comedy festivals are like health outreach programs for humour. Attempting to educate the public and show that these afflicted individuals are not always contagious. Mainstream American sit-coms are what's left after the humour has gone through a rigourous sterilization programme, injected with anti-humotics, scrubbed clean with laughter suppressing soap, and irradiated with large doses of UV (unimaginative visualizations).
Uh-oh! I feel I'm coming down with a case of the Goodies. I'd better rest up on the couch and have some warm milk. Goodie goodie, yum, yum!