"Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." - Peter Ustinov
Kudos to "Bad Moms" for, as some Hollywood sites say, surprising at the weekend Box with nearly $24 million. BUT... others are using its solid opening weekend as a sounding board for just how bad most studio comedy films have performed in recent years. Case in point, The Hollywood Report cites the poor performances of "Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping," "Keanu" and "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" as examples of the struggles of making laughs pay off. In fact, the only comedies to really hit pay dirt with audiences seem to be the exception rather than the rule (re: "Central Intelligence"). And studio execs want to know why. Well... that's why I'm here!
"Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die." - Mel Brooks
See... Mel Brooks does it right. Although, much as I love him, Dracula, Dead and Loving It was really, really bad. But, examine, if you will, the genius of "Blazzing Saddles," "History of the World, Part One," and "Young Frankenstein." All fresh, unique, and unabashedly vulgar. And audiences loved them... and still do! They serve as great barometers of how comedies should be measured. They are just as fresh (and hilarious) today as other classics like "Caddyshack"and "Three Amigos." And the recipe is simple: Gifted comedians operating within a not-so plausible premise and allowed to do what they do best. Recent comedies are just rehashes of old (and not very good) bits (Popstar) OR are just shitty script ideas. I love Bob DeNiro... but I didn't need to see him play a dirty grandfather. And, based on the box office numbers, not many people did either. That's because you (Hollywood) went to well one too many times. He's great in Meet the Parents... but you crammed his new-found comedy prowess down our throats and... well, we threw up.
"People who do comedy are always underrated because they make it look so easy." - Jennifer Aniston
And she can say that. I can watch "Horrible Bosses" and "We're The Millers" over and over again and laugh my ass off. That's because they were so fresh and unexpected that I love waiting for the jokes I've laughed out countless times before. But when you rehash the premise of Fraternity/Soroity vs. neighbors or kids behaving badly or ANY remake of a comedy EVER... it just stops being funny. The cardinal sin in stand-up comedy is stealing jokes from other comics. But, when it comes to making movies, it seems that theft of humorous material is not only tolerated, in some instances, it seems like its encouraged. Comics know you gotta keep your material fresh. BUT.. they also know that great bits last forever (just as Andrew "Dice" Clay about doing dirty nursey rhymes). So.. gimme some fresh comedy.. or a fresh pairing that brings unexpected comedy gold (as "Bad Moms" just did). And please, don't tell me the same jokes over and over again. Because if you do, the joke's on you... and NO ONE will be laughing. - MO