The television program Last Comic Standing finished up last night by declaring Iliza Shlesinger the winner for 2008. As the other comics tried to get her booted off the show, their strategy failed because Iliza was given the opportunity to show off her act, while the others were spouting off their mouths back at the house, as if they were Muhhamid Ali. The audience was getting to know her comedy, while the others were only talking about theirs. Kudos Eliza, but—you were not the funniest. That honor goes to His Comedic Majesty Mister Paul Foot Life President, the Guild of Paul Foot Connoisseurs.
“Eccentric comic Paul Foot is what many people outside of this country believe a stereotypical English person to be: a slightly posh, cravat-wearing, tea-drinking screwball,” according to his web site. What I consider him to be is funny.
He helps us to embrace the inner-nerd in all of us. I’m sure that all of you have had people like Paul enrich your life somewhere in the past, help you glimpse into the absurdities of life and let a little bit of irreverence into your solicitude. I can remember all the way back to high school when a group highly intelligent kids, two grades below me, started a group called “The Swamp”, named after the tent on the show MASH. I was directing the Spring Play for my Senior Project (Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite), when they initiated me into their inner circle. After the final performance, I got in my car to head to the cast party, when a few miles down the road two of them popped up from my back seat, pointed a water pistol at my head and declared, “Takes us to the Swiss border!”
Do us a favor Paul, if this blog ever reaches you—don’t stay on the other side of the pond for too long. You have a whole country of over 300 million people who get your humor. You wouldn’t have made it as far as you did in Last Comic Standing if we weren’t just as irreverent as you, deep down inside. Take a look at the fall line-up of new TV shows for this fall in the US. Almost all of them are based on British shows.
Hey, here’s one for you Your Comedic Majesty: A renowned philosopher was held in high regard by his driver, who listened in awe at every speech while his boss would easily answer questions about morality and ethics.
Then one day the driver approached the philosopher and asked if he was willing to switch roles for the evening's lecture. The philosopher agreed and, for a while, the driver handled himself remarkably well. When it came time for questions from the guests, a woman in the back asked, "Is the epistemological view of the universe still valid in an existentialist world?"
"That is an extremely simple question," he responded. "So simple, in fact, that even my driver could answer that, which is exactly what he will do."