Ever notice how comedy changes from one generation to the next? In truth the comedy never really changes any more than society changes, the two simply keep up with one another in a never-ending contest to see which can reflect upon the other in a more convincing fashion. But the argument of course is “that’s change, that’s how change works”. You’d be right except for one thing: comedy, like fiction, is a reflection of the society that it focuses upon.
Some folks would say that comedy routines have changed drastically throughout history and a lot of people would agree. After all the idea of someone getting upon on stage and making fun of life the way it is in any given time period, in some way, is nothing new. Satire and parodies have been a part of the human experience for a long, long time now, but have only ever reflected the moods and times in which they exist. So yes, let’s allow that everything has changed, but honestly the dance between the comedy and the reaction of the crowd has stayed the same.
Or wait, is that right? Nope, not at all.
Comedy has always angered some people. There are simply those that can’t wrap their minds around a bit of parody or simply won’t because they were born without a funny bone or the means by which to use it. But given that comedy has been an uplifting and stress-reducing practice for so long it’s still been widely accepted, and still is, practice that many people would agree is to be taken as it is and not out of context.
That doesn’t seem to be the case any longer. While our world has continued to change and new lines have been drawn throughout society, the comedy has reflected this and has kept in line with the always-changing rules and guidelines of the society to which it belongs. Comedy can follow etiquette or it can obliterate it by being it’s natural, effusive self. Comedy crosses lines that many feel should never be crossed, and does so with impunity because it can. Comedy is, in other words, the satire of life that is not to be taken seriously.