Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Enough with the zombie jokes: By Dan Friesen

Ladies and gentlemen, I love the Chicago comedy scene. Ironically, I hate the Facebook group of the same name, but I couldn't be a bigger fan of the real thing. The level of talent and drive here is constantly inspiring and, to a lesser extent, intimidating. We just got through Just For Laughs week, and I'll be goddamned if our local guys didn't hold their own with (and in some cases eclipse) the professional, out-of-town talent.

I can say with the utmost sincerity that all I want is to see this thing grow and evolve. I want to see people continue to step up their game until this town is choked with the best talent in the country. It is in that spirit that I am offering this bit of unsolicited advice. Please, for the love of God, stop talking about zombies.

I can't stress this enough. The fact that there are successful TV shows and movies and internet memes involving zombies does not mean that anything you say on the subject is in any way interesting. I know, I know; you're the type of person who would do well/have no chance in a zombie apocalypse. Either way, you lost me.

You see, here's the problem: good stand up, ideally, should be about revealing some sort of truth, whether it be about the performer, or society at large (which, when done right, ends up still revealing something about the performer). When you choose to talk about how you would respond to a zombie attack, you are essentially putting the truth about yourself behind at least two layers of detachment. It's bad enough that you are talking about what you would do in a completely unrealistic (and over discussed) hypothetical situation, but what you're actually doing is talking about what a completely fictionalized version of yourself would do in a completely unrealistic (and over discussed) hypothetical situation. Oh, you're the type of guy who would just get a baseball bat and start swinging? Because, I could have sworn you were the type of guy who just I just saw putting a lime in his sale price imported beer.

Plus, all the blogs and shit are talking about zombies. You're just going to be one more on the pile. If you just can't fight the urge to talk about something horror related, maybe try to be a little more creative. Here are a few suggestions:
  • Mummy invasion
  • Attack of self-actualized bees
  • Sexy (but deadly) she-wolves
  • Aquatic self-actualized bees
What I'm getting at is this: Chicago is poised to be the epicenter of a veritable comedy renaissance, and the only thing that's standing in the way is a couple of people at open mics talking about zombies. Shape it up, people!

Contributing Writer:
Dan Friesen

Check out Dan's site: thecomedyevening.com