Where have all the big-screen comedies gone?
Joe Rogan asked that question last year, and he came up with part of the answer.
“There’s a weird thing that happens when you’re making fun of something … it’s supposedly an endorsement of what that activity is, even if it’s completely unacceptable.”
That means characters can no longer behave as badly as before, a key source of comic mischief. A campus cutup who peeps into a sorority house, for example, is now off-limits because it’s a cruel thing to do.
It IS a cruel thing, of course, but we can still depict cruelty on screen and laugh about it. Imagine telling a mother-in-law joke that describes how warm, patient and loving she is.
Does that sound remotely hilarious?
We’re also not allowed to poke fun at select groups and issues, further hampering screenwriters trying to make us howl.
Tell that to TheWrap.com, a major industry news site that published a stupefying story trying to explain why we see so few big-screen comedies over the last decade.
The article, entitled, “Why Hollywood Is Struggling to Bring Comedies Back to Theaters,” spends countless paragraphs attempting to uncover the answer.
It gets close to some truths along the way.
Other genres often incorporate humor into their stories, like “Thor: Ragnarok” and “M3GAN.”
Some comedies go straight to streaming platforms now, like most of Adam Sandler’s recent offerings.
True, true, but it doesn’t fully explain the issue in play, and it doesn’t explain why the vast majority of them aren’t, you know, funny.
Guess what’s missing? What’s the one word TheWrap.com refuses to utter in a massive story on the subject (picked up by Yahoo! News)?
You won’t find it name-checked at all. Why? They’d like to pretend woke isn’t stalling potential comedies and the folks who star in them. It is, of course, across many platforms.
Some comedians may be risking their lives to tell jokes today. Think that doesn’t impact your average comedy screenplay?
The hard-Left news site, which purportedly covers all things Hollywood, can’t mention how the culture has curdled in recent years thanks to the woke revolution. Now, comedies like “Snatched,” “I Feel Pretty” and “Get Hard” are assaulted as racist, sexist, etc. etc. leaving their stars less willing to make more button-pushing comedies.
They won’t say as much, of course. Most actors are afraid to admit it. Todd Phillips said it loud and clear, though.
He’s the director behind “The Hangover” franchise, “Old School” and other gut-busters. He shared why he directed “Joker” four years ago instead of another raucous comedy.
“Go try to be funny nowadays with this woke culture,” Phillips told Vanity Fair. “There were articles written about why comedies don’t work anymore—I’ll tell you why, because all the f***ing funny guys are like, ‘F*** this s***, because I don’t want to offend you.’ It’s hard to argue with 30 million people on Twitter. You just can’t do it, right? So you just go, ‘I’m out.’
TheWrap historically supports Cancel Culture, the over-arching term for woke’s natural consequences. The site held a comedy symposium in 2020 which all but gave woke rules a big, ol’ thumbs up.
So it’s not surprising to see the site report on big-screen comedies while ignoring the elephant in the room. In doing so, it tells readers it can’t be trusted to accurately assess its own industry.