I was out of town and it just so happens that the cable system in the hotel had TNT adjacent to HBO on the dial. So as I was watching the Heat clinch against the Sixers, I checked on HBO during commercial breaks. We don’t have HBO at home so it’s one of the few redeeming things about business travel. I got sucked in to this show and couldn’t turn it off. It’s just four comedians sitting around discussing the trade for an hour.
The four comedians are Ricky Gervais, Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, and Louis C.K. It appeared that Ricky Gervais was the ringleader/moderator and I think his company produced the show. It’s specifically about stand-up comedy. The topics ran the gamut, they talked about the engaging the audience, writing jokes, using profanity, style, delivery, getting started, etc… You name it. It was a rambling conversation and really funny.
I do love stand-up comedy, but I haven’t been to see any stand-up in years. It used to be that my wife and I would hit the comedy clubs a few times a year back in the 1990s. I don’t think we’ve been in ten years, actually. This makes me want to go back.
They spent about 10 minutes talking about profanity. Jerry Seinfeld has used the f-word during stand-up once in his life. Only once! He says he just doesn’t need it for laughs. He didn’t deride the word though and is not offended by it. In fact, he sounded like he was appreciative of how the other guys use it. If you’ve seen any of the others, you know that they are heavy users of the f-word.
Then they moved on the the n-word, which Chris Rock uses mightily. Now I’m not familiar with Louis C.K.’s comedy, but evidently he uses the n-word also. I gotta tell you, it was a little uncomfortable watching him throw it around during the show. You just don’t see white guys using that word ever. Seinfeld and/or Gervais commented with something like, “only you, Louis, can use the n-word.” I’m not sure what that means. I need to check out his comedy to get a better understanding.
I started following Louis C.K. and Chris Rock on Twitter. It doesn’t look like Seinfeld or Gervais use the medium at all. I have a comedy list on Twitter with a mix of popular and indie comics and it provides a ton of laughs on a pretty regular basis. I need to reintroduce myself to stand-up.