adBlockCheck

Today's Audiences Just Don't Get Me

Top Headlines

Recent News

How Big-Budget Movies Flop

Despite the recent box-office failures of Exodus, Ben-Hur, and Gods Of Egypt, studios continue to fund big-budget movies they hope will achieve blockbuster success. The Onion provides a step-by-step breakdown of how one of these movies becomes a flop:

Study: 96% Of Pickup Games Decided By Next Score

PRINCETON, NJ—Noting that none of the game’s earlier events factored into the final outcome in any way whatsoever, a study released Wednesday by researchers at Princeton University revealed that 96 percent of all pickup games are decided by the next score.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of August 30, 2016

ARIES: Sometimes in life, you just need to stop whatever it is you’re doing and take a step back. Actually, maybe it’s two steps back. Yeah, that’s good. Keep going. The stars will let you know when you’re far enough.

Office Manager Unveils New Rule

WARREN, MI—Stipulating that the regulation would take effect immediately, Summit Industries office manager Angela Werner reportedly unveiled a new rule Tuesday in a company-wide email.

Team Of Vatican Geneticists Successfully Clone God

VATICAN CITY—Describing the groundbreaking work as a major step forward for theological research, a team of Vatican geneticists held a press conference Tuesday at the Apostolic Palace to announce they had successfully cloned God.

What Is The Alt-Right?

A recent speech by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton criticizing the “alt-right” movement and its support of Republican nominee Donald Trump has shone the national spotlight on the ideologically conservative group. Here’s what you need to know about the alt-right

Aunt On Facebook Casually Advocates War Crime

WILLIAMSPORT, PA—Arguing that it was time to deal decisively with the threat of terrorism, local aunt Deborah Massey casually advocated a war crime Monday in a brief Facebook post, sources confirmed. “Any city that has ISIS people hiding out in it needs to be bombed to the ground.

Dad Shares Photo Album Through Never-Before-Seen Website

SECAUCUS, NJ—Wondering aloud how the father of three even managed to find the online image-hosting service, family members of local dad Phil Yates told reporters Monday the 57-year-old had shared a photo album with them through a never-before-seen website.

How Obamacare Can Be Improved

With Aetna just the latest health insurance provider to opt out of covering Obamacare markets, many are wondering what changes can make the Affordable Care Act more appealing to customers and insurance companies. Here are some proposed improvements
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next

Today's Audiences Just Don't Get Me

What has happened to the comedy crowds these days? Can you tell me that? I don't know what it is, but I just can't seem to connect at all with the average audience. Seriously, folks, what is the problem here? I've been doing this a whole lot longer than any of the clowns out on the circuit these days, so I think I know a thing or two about my craft by this point. These kids coming up now, they wouldn't know funny if you spelled it out for them with a 22-page Translator's Foreword in a special edition from Oxford University Press.

Even my best gags get little more than a blank look these days. It's like the average audience member never heard a friggin' parabasis before in their life.

That whole bit I have where the multitudes of frogs come out on stage and start doing that whole "krik-krik-krik" chant? That little number got the unprecedented honor of a request for a second performance in Athens' biggest venues. A whole stage full of people dressed in elaborate frog masks, making frog noises to the beat of the poetic meter? Now, tell me that's not pure gold, people

Let's get one thing straight: I know humor. In my day, I killed up and down both sides of the Aegean. You should have seen me at the amphitheater of the Great Theatre of Dionysus, under the slope of the Acropolis—now that was a comedy venue. By the nine Muses, the benches were packed and the wine was flowing—and so were the laughs!

Call me crazy, but comedy just has not been the same since the Macedonians took over and banned all the best Old Attic theater back at the end of the fourth century B.C.E.

It's not that my material isn't strong. Come on! You don't win competitions at both the City Dionysia and the Lenea if you don't know how to work a room. Yet people only seem to like that Adam Sandler and Jim Carrey baloney. Lowest-common-denominator nonsense. You think anyone's going to remember Larry The Cable Guy in 2500 years?

Whatever happened to standards? Audiences nowadays are so used to being spoon-fed the most simplistic material, they don't recognize good comedy anymore. You can read them stasimon after stasimon of the funniest chanted poetry ever, and they still sit there like so much stone statuary at the Oracle of Delphi.

What do I gotta do, beg?

Or how about including the Cheans in the ritual prayers the Birds offer to the gods? That used to have them splitting their sides! Now they're like "Cheans who?" Man, I miss the glory days of classic comedy, in the years directly preceding and at the very start of the Peloponnesian War.

You know what it is? It's these young people, they don't have the attention spans audiences used to. Try getting one of them to sit through a five-day festival of Dionysus. I guarantee the little punk will be squirming in his seat and checking his computerized text messages before the end of Day One, and that's in the middle of a Bacchic frenzy. They all want the same thing: stale jokes from some untutored hack—not the kind of serious stuff that's performed outdoors with a full masked chorus and lasts an entire afternoon.

If it weren't for regional community theater and the occasional academic conference for a bunch of bluehairs, you'd never even know I was one of history's most profound and influential comedic geniuses. I can't even get in the door at Caroline's!

Don't people like impersonations anymore? I used to do the best Euripides. I had his whole pretentious, "look-at-me-I'm-the-most-important-tragedian-in-the-history-of-the-city-state" thing down—I swear, you'd think the guy was sitting right across the agora from you. But whenever I bust that one out now, they stare at me with this look on their faces like they've just been sentenced to drink hemlock.

And it's not that I'm a prude, mind you. I can work as blue as the best of them. Take the enormous prop phalluses in Lysistrata, for example. Talk about "A" material. But even the most accessible stuff, like my Origin of Love bit from the Symposium, bombs miserably with today's crowd. Doesn't anybody appreciate a good Cleon-bashing monologue these days?

Look, I don't have to get on my knees like some chump, okay? I'm Aristophanes of Athens, for Poseidon's sake. I worked with all the classic guys! Plato wrote verses praising me. In my day, I was tops, I was... aw, forget it.

Comedy's a tough gig, man.

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close