Posted ByMichael on January 16, 2003 at 23:18:38:
In Reply to: What Happened? posted byJerry J. Haumberger on January 15, 2003 at 04:16:29:
: Hi, folks --
: It's been a wonderful pleasure and surprise to discover, not only the joys of Jack Benny, but his delightful international Internet community of his fans. I've read through many of the forum comments and chuckled through the scripts for the 39 Forever contest, and I'm amazed at how faithful each one of those entries are to Jack's comedic character. Certainly his writers would have found them enjoyable, too, and would have likely even encouraged Jack to try them out on his audiences.
: Anyway, I'd just like to introduce myself as one more of those quiet souls in a small corner of the world who happens to be deeply touched and influenced by the fun-loving, gentle genious of Jack -- and for quite some time -- most of my life, actually. And I'm curious.
: What happened? All the leading comedians that loved and revered Jack are slowly disappearing. It seems as though a special era of comedy ended with Jack's death, even though many of us still enjoy reminiscing about his accomplishments.
: "Clean humor" doesn't seem to mean a whole lot these days. But really, nice jokes are still possible. And wherever possible, I always try to demonstrate in small ways how everyday events pose lots of humorous angles, in an impromptu fashion. In "Jack's way". I can't help it, I've grown up with him, and he's just become a part of my way of looking at life. Even like the other day... (it's true!)... I was at this grill ordering a hamburger, and I casually mentioned to the cook (an old acquaintance) that I just joined the IJBFC. That put the cook into "laugh mode", and meanwhile, I found myself in "Jack mode"... and a lady next to us ordered chicken strips. The cook said, "Jerry, can you make this lady some chicken strips." I couldn't help it and said, "Sorry, I'm too chicken to do strips." I love it... it's fun. An it's not difficult. Thanks to Jack.
I think a lot of what happened can be attributed to the attempts of commedians to "push the envelope" starting back in the mid to late 60's.
It was easier to get laughs by either profanity, or coarse topics or both, and the trend has continued... although there are a few exceptions