Oh, Oh. Here’s good joke, made it up myself. What did the farmer say when he lost his tractor? Where’s my tractor!! Get it… ok maybe not. Don’t worry; I’m not a comedian. However unlike myself, we do have comedians in our modern day and age that are definitely artistes of hilarity. Good morning ladies and gentlemen, chairperson, timekeeper, adjudicators and fellow debaters. My name is Ashwini Dhanapathy and I am the first speaker for the negative team.
The topic for tonight’s debate is that today’s comedians are not funny. However, before I continue with my argument I would like to rectify some flaws in the oppositions argument. REBUTTAL. Now I will continue with my team’s case. My team and I define the topic as such: today as the present day, contemporary time or age; comedian as a professional entertainer who tells jokes or performs various other comic acts to amuse or try to be amusing.
They amuse an audience by making them laugh, for example through jokes or humorous situations, or acting the fool, as in slapstick, or employing prop comedy. Funny is defined as arousing or provoking laughter, amusement and witticism. Ladies and gentle men laughter is the best medicine; comedians are the best doctors. This morning, I will be outlining the comic traditions that our present day comedians draw upon in order to fulfill the audience’s enjoyment and the criteria that proves today’s comedians are just as hilarious and zany as they ever were.
Our second speaker Aparajita Basu will divulge her points on how current comedy builds on comic traditions rather than betraying them, how current humorists employ the same comic traditions, which keep us rolling around in fits of laughter and of course our third speaker Rahima Raza will be summarizing our team’s case and will convince you that today’s comedians are definitely funny, that they are definitely Ha Ha Ha material.
Even from the beginning of civilization, there have been comedians; take for example the village idiots and court jesters. Past comedians based their comedy on certain ideals, which, in our contemporary era, have become comic traditions. Things that we as an active audience see today such as irreverence, vulgarity, bawdy humour and the good old personal insult were in fact, in essence the very things that audiences of the past have seen, understood and thus, broke out in fits of laughter, might I add.
Our current comedians employ such comic traditions which were drawn from yesteryear’s comedic greats; court jesters, Shakespeare entertaining Groundlings, bawdy humor as in Canterbury Tales, slapstick improvised humor of commedia dell’arte, which existed even in Greek and Roman times, there were also the Marx brothers, the 3 stooges, Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy, Hung, Freud and Aristotle. Ladies and Gentlemen the list is endless. Their comical ideas are embedded in the comedy that we see today.
In today’s movies, sitcoms, stand-ups, animations and improvisations we see that they are based upon very old principles which are plainly incongruity, exaggeration, invective, paradox, caricature, understatement, gags, ridicule, ignorance, surprise, puns, satire and finally, comic situations. As inheritors of these traditions, modern-day comedians have used and improved upon them. I think it’s the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately. This is the basis of their hilarity George Carlin The syntheses of long-established, comedic techniques are the driving force that attracts contemporary society.
Comedians are like poets; they can comment without consequences. “Comedy always works best when it is mean-spirited. ” John cleese They can speak and poke fun, like the court jester who jested the king himself! Clearly, it was irreverent humor but that didn’t stop the king from laughing; there was no off with your head, it was more like Bravo. Past comedians adopted comic genres and tailored them so the language would suit the era and the place; the audience understood the humour and died laughing in their seats.
Some of Shakespeares comical works were down right rude and irreverent, but that didn’t stop Queen Elizabeth I from enjoying herself. In much the same style, today’s comedians have adopted genres such as satire and stand-up and they have incorporated that into the modern times. The trick is to take something tragic and serious and put a positive spin on it so that it becomes laughable! This, ladies and gentlemen , is what all comedians do. It’s not a crime, it’s not a fault, it’s simply generations of comic tradition and it’s hilarious.
Laughter is the best medicine, comedians are the best doctors. Robin Williams said that comedy is acting out optimism and that’s no joke. Comedy is universally loved by almost everyone. People everywhere love to laugh. If this topic was true in that comedians are not funny then people would not have to be laughing at it. However, this is false because people are laughing at it. I’m not joking, do I look like the court jester? Don’t answer. If comedians were no longer funny they would not be popular.
However, statistics show that all the top ten tv shows are actually comical, which proves in every way that they are popular. If comedy is less popular than the other genres of entertainment, then it shouldn’t have the highest rating for popular tv shows, which it does. People pay to watch comedy and you know something else, they watch regularly. That’s right. People pay to watch jokes about rascism, religion, death and political issues. In general, they pay to watch the comic traditions. For the audience, comedians put the word ‘joy’ in ‘enjoyment’.
Even comedian giant Hugh Grant says I get more satisfaction out of comedy stuff. Comedians like the latter, robin Williams, tim allen, steve martin, eddie Murphy and so on are rich and famous even today, their films, shows, they’re all blockbusting hits. How do you suppose that happened? They weren’t out selling vegetables to earn their keep. Their popularity paid off… so did their comedy acts. Comedians are earning so much that their laughing themselves to the bank. Even in huge entertainment events such as the Grammies, comedy was and is and will be award-winning.
From movies to cartoons, everything’s a gag as Chaplin thinks. Be it sit. coms, stand-ups, or just plain hilarious, the criteria shows that present-day comedians, although their IQ might be faltering, have scored an A++ in entertainment as we know it. At present, comedians are some of the most in-demand performers. To meet this demand, not only has the number of comedians dramatically escalated, but also the comedic quality of these comedians has been elevated to a level that meets or surpasses some of the best secular comedians of the past and those working today.
Laughter is the best medicine, comedians are the best doctors. Charlie Chaplin said laughter is the tonic, the relief, the surcease for pain and that a day without laughter is a day wasted. Our comedians today prevent us from wasting our day and are merely carrying on the tradition and the artistic craft of relieving people through joyous laughter. You could knock me over with an extremely large feather if you fail to see that today’s comedians are highly amusing, greatly loved buffoons. Comedians are hilariously funny and clever which is why tragedy is only temporary and comedy is forever.