A comedian once told me, as if revealing his secret, that the best thing that can happen to a comedian is for his humor to be described as intelligent. Limits can be set for silly humor, but anyone who sets limits for intelligent humor runs the risk of looking like an idiot. And there was a distant time, before the coming of tweeters (today, equiseros), when idiots worried about being taken for granted.
The humor on Spanish TV went from silly to clever in one crazy hour. Suddenly, laughter was no longer the reaction of a brute to a dirty joke, but a sign of cool identity. Since that happy revolution of the Joaquín Reyes band, jokes and variety acts took refuge in the hotels of Benidorm in the low season, and the general landscape was filled with bearded, verbose, neurotic and sometimes Dadaist types, as the extreme case by Ignatius, which fit equally well in a monologue program or in a performance at the Reina Sofía. His legacy is immense, and his reign, unrepeatable: the old singers should get together to celebrate it, even if it is in a theater in front of the bearded people who still sing the hit. Son of a bitch, it needs to be said more.
Little by little, that wild and somewhat cynical humor has been cornered by another anti-humorous one. The Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby silenced the laughter in her brutal monologue Ninette, and since then, humor no longer wants to be intelligent, or even funny: humor wants to reprimand, raise awareness and even catechize. And I don’t think it’s at all bad that the comedian’s resources are used to reflect or provoke catharsis, but I’m starting to miss the times when we followed comedians for something as unintelligent as the fact that they made us laugh.
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