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  1. Bobby Burrows

    Bobby Burrows Banned Contributor

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    Comedy Comedy For A Millennial

    Discussion in 'By the Genre' started by Bobby Burrows, Oct 21, 2018.

    Seems to be references?

    Like... If I was to write Dexter from Dexter's Lab (Dexter's Laboratory on Cartoon Network), and aim it at this now adult market, and, say, Dexter is in his lab, his sister Dee-Dee comes in and interrupts him and then Dexter turns around and accidentally kills Dee-Dee and has to figure out how to dispose of her body and build a less annoying replacement Dee-Dee to fool his parents or something, IDK, a Millennial might think that's funny.

    Just saying, Family Guy! seems to run with references and South Park did a whole thing with reboots and their Memberberries.

    I grew up thinking the 1980's was the golden age of Cinema in Hollywood followed by the 1990's, so, IDK, I like references and, I'm a Millennial and, yeah, it seems to be a way to get an easy laugh because it's smart and it's always good to keep your characters relatable/more real, and to share your own two cents on whatever you what to reference.
    Rick and Morty does this too.
     
  2. John Calligan

    John Calligan Contributor Contributor

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    Millinials like neo-Dadaism and post modern cynicism with breaks for sincerity to add punch.

    Use broken rhythm to surprise with absurdist elements, deconstruct whatever tropes and social structures you can, but let the characters care about one another.
     
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  3. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin A tombstone hand and a graveyard mind Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Here's a Millennial joke:

    Guy grows up, gets a job, works hard, doesn't complain.
     
  4. Bobby Burrows

    Bobby Burrows Banned Contributor

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    References and references; saw Stan Against Evil this week, online, and; This week's episode was one big The X-Files homage.
    A show which was recently bought back from the 1990's for a while.
     
  5. LastMindToSanity

    LastMindToSanity Contributor Contributor

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    If you want to see some examples of popular comedy, there's a couple that I would recommend for today's audience.

    Bo Burnham for some examples of light-hearted sexual jokes, non-jokes, and some actually heavy stuff that sometimes comes up (You'd need to pay attention, though. His jokes are easy to get, but you might miss the punchline if you zone out at any point during one of them);

    John Mulaney for a more down-to-earth perspective on everyday modern life;

    and Kevin Hart for an everyday life kind of thing, but not as down-to-earth as Mulaney.

    That probably doesn't cover everything, but I think it covers a fair amount of different types of comedy. You can find all of these guys on Netflix, by the way.
     
  6. Bobby Burrows

    Bobby Burrows Banned Contributor

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    Well, I think these comedians aren't generational specific (perhaps I'm wrong), but, Generation X and The Baby Boomers enjoy Kevin Hart at least, no? - but, references, seem to be big.

    I seen it in UK adverts of old toys/cartoons and movies being used to sell finance and perception eye glasses.


     
  7. LastMindToSanity

    LastMindToSanity Contributor Contributor

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    I wouldn't know about how 'generation specific' they are, but they do their comedy styles well. They're also within that age range for that generation so that's what I based it off of.
     
  8. Bobby Burrows

    Bobby Burrows Banned Contributor

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    It seems to me, my Millennials (I'm technically one even though I'm a throwback one, I'm still that age).. We like...
    Our 1980's and or 1990's golden age of TV.
    Some people remember toys, some people remember cartoons, but we love it.

    Think I read somewhere year ago, that one day, knowledge of Nostalgia could be a sign of intelligence;, and remembering something obscure, is said to be intelligent; but, this was years ago, and, memories can change; but I think that's what that was leading to.
    They also say comedy is a sign of intelligence so; it just goes to show that; Nostalgia is a good way to get a cheap laugh.


    Like...


    It used to be...


    To write a drama

    Have two elephants standing up, with their trunks tied in a knot.

    To make it a comedy, make it that one of the elephants needs to sneeze.
    (Honest to God, that really passed for BBC comedy writers meetings in 2004).

    Nowadays, to write drama it's;

    Have two elephants standing up, with their trunks tied in a knot.

    To make it comedy, add Peter Griffin from Family Guy! going around tying up all the elephants trunks together.
    (This kinda made me laugh).

    ... And that's your cheap laugh/quick go to/smile maker, today, it seems.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
  9. Bobby Burrows

    Bobby Burrows Banned Contributor

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    So a Millennial might say...
    Have a big dance scene, or dramatic scene; but make it Buzz Light Year!.. And get really excited about seeing a dramatic or all dancing Buzz Light Year with adult overtones.

    And... Tbh, that's fine, there's nothing wrong with it and if you could get the rights to Toy Story, then, yeah.
     
  10. Bobby Burrows

    Bobby Burrows Banned Contributor

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    Seth McFarlane
     
  11. poy

    poy Member

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    Do you want to write good comedy, or pandering comedy? If it's the latter, you're right about making references. You've pretty much got it all figured out. If it's the former, don't. It's a crutch and it dates horribly.
     
  12. halisme

    halisme Contributor Contributor

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    Okay, time for a heavy deconstruction of what reference humour is, and how it works, and how it interacts with absurdist humour, and how they do pretty similar things.

    Reference humour is effectively grabbing a snippet of someone else's work, and including it in your own for intended comedy effect. You're assuming the audience has a certain level of cultural understanding in a certain aspect of a genre. If I have robot character who is attempting to kill a human say "Hasta La Vista", it's quite clearly a reference, but not necessarily funny in and of itself. If my name was Matt Groening however, and I was writing a science fiction comedy show, I might then chuck a "meatbag" on the end. Terminator was considered a pretty good film series at the time of that writing and the additional word just strips all that way for comedic effect. It's a quick contextual comparison, followed by some self-depreciation.
    Now, absurdist humour, also relies on some form of context, specifically that of normality, for it to rebel against. As pop culture has established context, it's pretty easy to rebel against it. With HeMan you've got two musclebound men who are supposed to be fighting each other, copying Dirty Dancing, a film originally intended for a female audience, with a romantic arc which we also wouldn't expect between HeMan and Skeletor. One context is put inside another context for comedic effect. Absurdist humour also plays with this even without the overt references. Thirteen pink elephants tap dancing while wearing tutus is basically going "haha, elephants shouldn't be doing ballet."
    That is not to say all reference humour is absurdist however, especially when all humour is based off of subversion, just absurdist pushes it in the most extreme direction, and as pop culture has a wide variety of contrasting contexts, it can be used for it very easily.
    Now, to talk about bad reference humour, or, joke by association. This is where you effectively steal someone else's joke and then put it in your work. The most obvious example of this was the amount of Gangnam Style parodies that appeared at the time. The video is intentionally a joke and when people copied it, it wasn't funny.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2019
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