A Question of Comedy
In then 90s I went out with this woman I'll call Amy on and off for 10 years. Although she took acting, singing, and music lessons she would never actually get up on stage. When we were together we were absolutely hilarious every minute. If someone had followed us around with a video camera it would have been an incredible comedy show but she would rarely go to parties or social events so people rarely saw her. When I suggested that we get up on stage and do comedy together she acted as if I had invited her to take a space capsule to the moon.
I knew this other poet Kitty. We were romantic for a short time but that didn't work out. We hung out on the poetry scene all the time and she did these stories and poems that were hilarious leaving audiences rolling in the aisles. She passed way a few years ago.
I found a copy of a letter I sent her once suggesting that we work together as a comedy team. I told her that if we teamed up we would be a big hit and she wouldn't have to clean apartments the rest of her life but it fell on deaf ears.
What I've discovered was that outside of Stiller and Meara comedy teams of a man and woman together is as rare the mating of Chinese pandas.
Mike Nichols and Elaine May toured together as a highly successful team in the late 50s but only lasted 3 years.
Sonny and Cher had hugely successful songs on the radio and a television show but broke up after just a few years to follow solo careers.
There was series of sketches on the early Saturday Night Live: Two Wild and Crazy Guys It starred Dan Aykroyd and Steve Martin playing two obnoxious Czech immigrants trying cluelessly to pick up American women played by Gilda Radner, Laraine Newman, and Jane Curtin. It was popular but I don't think it lasted more than 10-12 episodes.
When you go to a comedy club what do you see? One guy or woman standing alone on stage telling jokes by themselves.
What happened to comedy teams? The Marx Brothers, Laurel and Hardy, Abbot and Costello…..these were very popular comedy teams. Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis were hugely popular in the 50s.
But it seems that there are few comedy teams these days. Comedy teams of a man and woman performing together is extremely rare. Comedy teams of Chinese pandas performing together is even rarer than that. Why is that? I just don't know.
Posted by mcusiman
at 3:57 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 20 August 2012 11:44 PM EDT