Monday, 7 October 2013

Stand-up comedy by Jim Carrey and Ray Romano

A little something different for this Tuesday's Overlooked Films, Audio & Video over at Todd Mason’s blog Sweet Freedom.

I'm a sucker for stand-up comedy. I enjoy watching stand-up comedians deliver clean, witty, satirical, and intelligent lines on stage. I wonder how they do it. Do they speak impromptu or do they rehearse? I assume it's a little of both: they practice first and then speak extempore. I also wonder if stand-up comedy is an in-built thing, a gift you were born with, a talent you inherited through your genes.

It takes a lot of courage and confidence to stand up before a live audience, babble non-stop, and make them laugh. What happens if you know your jokes are beginning to fall flat and you're losing your audience? Do you reach for the flask of whisky in your pocket?

Everyone has a good joke to tell but not everyone can tell a good joke. Most of us have at one time or another told a joke to family and friends and met with embarrassing silence. Now imagine that on a much bigger scale.

One of the reasons I also like watching awards ceremonies like the Academy and Golden Globe are the speeches by the presenters and winners, particularly those who have a proclivity for humour, like Jack Nicholson, Michael Caine, Meryl Streep, Jim Carrey, Steve Martin, Robin Williams, Sacha Baron Cohen, Hugh Laurie, Ray Romano, Jennifer Lawrence, and Adrien Brody. Their speeches are a form of stand-up comedy too.

Surfing the internet for some good stand-up comedy, I came across two short nineties clips on YouTube. The first is Jim Carrey’s tribute to Clint Eastwood at the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award in 1996 and the other is Ray Romano’s jokes at a talk show appearance long before Everybody Loves Raymond.

Both are very funny, especially Carrey with his imitation of the man with no name. Romano excels with his parental humour. Take a look below.





10 comments:

  1. I like STand up pretty well. I watch a fair amount with my wife.

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    1. Charles, good stand-up comedy is hard to come by. I like Jeff Dunham's work and probably Russell Peters to some extent.

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  2. Thanks for that Prashant - particularly with Carrey of late it's become a bit too easy to forget just how good he could be!

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    1. You are welcome, Sergio. Jim Carrey is a hugely talented actor but I don't like many of his films because of his highly exaggerated verbal and facial expressions which he refers to in the above clip. I did like him in BRUCE ALMIGHTY, though.

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  3. My impression is the stand-up routines are finely polished and previewed with audiences then made to look extemporaneous. Eddie Izzard works that way, and somehow he makes it look like he's just free associating, making it up as he goes. Sometimes he goes a little blank like he loses track of what he's been talking about, and I believe that's just part of the act, too.

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    1. Ron, I didn't know that. I'm sure they must be editing a fair bit to make the stand-up comedian look good. I'll have to look up Eddie Izzard as I didn't know about him until now.

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  4. I like standup if it isn't too blue-which it usually is now.

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    1. Patti, I think film actors often do good stand-up comedy without realising it.

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  5. I'm not a big fan of stand-up to be honest. I'll watch it a bit occasionally but won't go out of my way to see any. Carrey isn't one of my favourite actors either.

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    1. Col, I like stand-up comedy if it is really done well. Carrey isn't one of my favourite actors either though I liked his role in BRUCE ALMIGHTY but not in ACE VENTURA. I thought he was pretty good in this particular clip.

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