I don’t think we give laughter enough credit. It’s generally much harder to make a person laugh than cry. A few well placed triggers and you can have a whole audience sobbing into their tissues. I’ve sat in comedy clubs, Broadway shoes and comedy movies where jokes fell flatter than my chocolate souffles. It was painful for everyone.
I was watching ‘My Cousin Vinny’ the other night. I let my kids watch in spite of some of the objectionable content. We were laughing until we cried. While watching I remembered the outrage that year at the Oscars when Marissa Tomei beat Meryl Streep. She won in a comedy and Meryl lost in another drama – I don’t even remember which one – where she made us all cry. Oh my god, oh the humanity. Let me qualify, Meryl Streep is one of my favorite actresses and outspoken women and truthfully her comedies are some of my favorites of her work. I wish she’d do more. Still, I’m kinda sick of comedy getting shit on. It’s hard to make someone laugh and it’s good when it happens.
Sometimes I try my hand at funny but I’m not good at writing jokes. I’m better at writing amusing scenes. I may try to stretch my talent that way writing a straight up comedy. I think it could help all of my writing because every time you open up a new creative door all of the old doors get a shiny new coat of lacquer. Could be interesting.
Marissa Tomei deserved that Oscar and there was no controversy in my opinion. I wish more comedies had a fighting chance at these award shows because if there’s anything this country, the world, needs – it’s a good laugh.