RHLSTP #79

More RHLSTP stuff, this time with Al Murray who makes quite an incisive point about the nature of art and comedy. The gripe I have with people who like “sophisticated” comedy (I get that it is natural for people to try and set themselves apart, but the very notions of whether a thing is “lowbrow” or “highbrow” is so arbitrary. And the idea of references is another thing worth discussing, probably for another time) is precisely the point that Al Murray makes, you can get a joke but not find it funny.

RH: That character (Pub Landlord) obviously is appealing to people as well as they are laughing at it, often difficult to know…
AM: But it doesn’t matter. That argument is an argument against art, against creativity; if someone can’t look at a portrait and get different things from it. You are arguing against imagination, creativity and art itself. If a piece of art has to have a label on it “you got to take from this this one thing or you’re stupid, or you are incapable of subtle thought” then it’s not art, it’s a failed thing. I am bewildered…that argument gets put forth by intelligent people who haven’t considered what they are saying at all.
[…]
RH: You can’t control how the audience reacts to your stuff…
AM: But that’s the point of art. You can’t control what people make of it, you put it out there, you hope some of them will understand it…similar thing with jokes. You can get things and not like it, there’s more than just whether you get a joke or not. These things are never as simple and binary as people want them to be.

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