Recently Robert Tracinski mistakenly argued that “there’s no way to make comedy didactic…this is the ultimate contradiction in terms.” This is absurd. The best comedy is didactic. That’s because the best comedy is about revealing hilarious truths. …
William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado about Nothing” is didactic. “Duck Soup” and “A Night at the Opera” are didactic. “The Producers” (original only) and “Blazing Saddles” are didactic.
Monty Python is didactic, especially in its masterpiece, “Life of Brian.” “Seinfeld” is didactic precisely because it’s about nothing. From “Dr. Strangelove” and “Meet the Parents” to “30 Rock” and “I, Tonya,” you will find great comedy is didactic.
The problem Tracinski has identified is not that woke comedy is didactic, but rather that the woke side of the moon has no light of knowledge to impart. Woke “comedy” tries to be didactic and fails because it has nothing profound or interesting to teach.
“Much Ado about Nothing,” for example, is a brilliant and hilarious play that examines some of the most wonderfully dumb parts of human nature. Kenneth Branagh’s joyous film adaptation of this play contains an instructively hilarious interpretation of the ironies of erotic love.
In one scene, we find two people being tricked into falling in love. They are perfect for each other, but their passion has produced too much rhetorical heat, keeping them at bay for years.
All it took was a little deception from their friends to help them see the truth. How is this not instructive about the nature of men and women? Love is a hilarious game cleverly put on naked display by the Bard’s wit. …
“Duck Soup” is a scathing indictment of fascism and arguably the Marx Brothers’ funniest film. “Blazing Saddles” does the same for American racism.
Neither is necessarily meant to be interpreted along propositional or pedagogic lines. Regardless, those films teach and they teach well. They expose the absurdities of reliance upon authoritarian government and identity politics to solve our problems.
The left has a problem — it’s not realistic:
The problem with woke comedy is that woke comics want to convince people that things like socialism are good. But leftist politics are fundamentally ridiculous. That’s why they can be so easily used for comedy: their core concepts and assumptions are easy to mock.
Q: How do you know when Social Justice Warriors are around?
A: No one is laughing.
SJWs: THAT’S NOT FUNNY!