In lieu of content, I thought I’d participate in this meme:

List the five biggest influences on what it is that you find funny:

It’s odd but looking back over the things that helped form what I find funny are mostly satire. It’s likely that, in many cases, I saw the satire years before I saw the thing they were satirizing in the first place.

Saturday Night Live: As a kid, I remember being woken up at 1230am (Atlantic Time) to watch the show I but have only vague memories of the original cast. I knew I liked Belushi and Bill Murray and, for some reason, Buck Henry. I’ve stuck with the show over the years even as the number of bad seasons greatly outweigh the good ones. Once in a while, they’ll hit on something really good. It’s just a way of looking at the world that I’ve always connected with. I think The Daily Show does it better now but SNL is the mainstay.

SCTV: SNL’s smarter cousin. Where SNL’s satire went broad and played to a big audience, SCTV’s remained much sharper. The show, being set at a fictional saw most of their characters as send-ups of certain show biz archetypes. They hit their creative height when they did a full-on parody of the early 70’s Canadian film classic Goin’ Down the Road (“Der’s all kinda jobs in Taronna!”). In the sketch, the original down-on-their-luck Maritimers are replaced by a lawyer and a brain surgeon from Moncton who hear that there are all kinda doctorin’ and lawyerin’ jobs in Toronto. Things go badly, despite the joys of “Yonge Street!” so they end up going down the road to Edmonton. The show simply had a great approach to show biz to the point that I still see certain types of guys on TV and think “Oh, check out Sammy Maudlin there.”

Monty Python: Again, a childhood discovery that played to my love of cartoons. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized how smart it was, too. They just a skewed view of the world, mostly anti-authoritarian which also led to the discovery of the Goons, Peter Sellers, Rowan Atkinson and other British comics.

Kids in the Hall: In the Python vein but with a darker side. They said and did things other shows wouldn’t dream of.

‘Blazing Saddles’/’Young Frankenstein’: Mel Brooks’ two funniest movies came out within a few years of each other and managed to offend just about everyone. And, the Broadway success of The Producers notwithstanding, he hasn’t repeated that success since.

(via way down here)

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