Post-Comedies Photo: Netflix/FX/A24/HBO Why so serious? to quote a famous clown, is a question being asked about comedy more and more frequently by its consumers and by comedians themselves. To the point where some are questioning if it can even be called "comedy." " Nanette is more a TED Talk than a stand-up special" was a common refrain this summer. "Is Drew Michael even a stand-up special?" was a question I was asked about the audience-free HBO hour. To take it to scripted TV, I'm frequently reminded of a joke from Difficult People : "When did comedies become 30-minute dramas?" Comedians and comedy writers are increasingly pushing the bounds of what it means for something to be a comedy in the most basic sense, rewiring the relationship between comedies and jokes. So what is comedy without jokes? It's post-comedy. Sure, it sounds pretentious; it's a pretentious shift, especially for a form that has always seemed allergic to pretension. But it seems the best way to describe comedy is that it's looking more like the frowning mask than the smiling one. I was confused to see some writers refer to Nanette , Hannah Gadsby's much discussed stand-up special that deconstructed how… Read full this story
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