Now THAT’S Funny! (Or, at least, it used to be…)

“Welcome” to my blog.

A few days ago, I talked a little about how the things that I used to think were scary don’t really scare me anymore, now that I’m a grown-ass adult. Similarly, my taste in what I think is funny has changed over the years, too. For the better? Well, that part’s debatable.

There’s been something of a resurgence of the raunchy, ribald, over-the-top R-rated comedies the past decade or so. Gone are the slightly-naughty PG-13 comedies like Can’t Hardly Wait, The Cable Guy, Austin Powers and Adam Sandler’s entire oeuvre. They’ve upped the boobs and butts and the F-bombs, and hit us over the head with such fare as American Pie, Bridesmaids, The Hangover, and {Insert Interchangable Judd Apatow Film here, cuz they’re all basically the same movie}.

I think I got the most enjoyment out of raunchy slob comedies back when I was still too young to get in to see them without a parent or guardian. I laughed myself silly at classics like Animal House, Police Academy, Bachelor Party, Porky’s, and D.C. Cab. I can still dial those up and have a good time watching them. But, do the same dirty jokes and outrageous adult antics still tickle my funny bone nowadays? Not so much.

I can’t remember the last straight-up comedy movie I ventured out to a theater to see; none of them have looked like they’d be worth me shelling out full-price ticket money and dealing with crowds. I’ll generally wait ’til they’re available on video or cable to check ’em out. That being said, when I do watch them, I’m usually expecting a constant barrage of dick and man-butt jokes, and people using way more profanity than they should. And that’s usually what I get. But every once in a while, a film will come along that will get full-on, sincere belly laughs out of me, even if I started watching it with the intent not to laugh.

This past week, I took in a few of these “comedies,” and the results were mixed. First, we watched Baywatch. I usually like Dwayne Johnson in movies, and he’s funny whenever he’s on Saturday Night Live. It looked like they were going to go in the same direction with this old TV show as they did a while back with 21 Jump Street, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Well, there were very few laughs to be had, at least by me, and judging by how quiet she was, my wife, too. They threw a lot of genital humor in there; from engorged members stuck in beach furniture, to the gratuitous fondling of a dead man’s junk. And I stayed stone-faced throughout. I got a few laughs out of some of the ridiculousness near the end of the film, but they weren’t worth sitting through the unoriginal story and forced lewdness that unfolded before them. One and a half out of five stars.

Kinda messed up that Dwayne loaded Zac’s fridge with Big Ass canned hams.

I then dialed up Rough Night, a movie I’d only watch if it was free (and it was). It looked like another in the long line of Bridesmaids ripoffs (and Bridesmaids was a movie I turned off in the middle, when I realized it was just a boilerplate Hollywood chick flick with fart jokes thrown in), so I went into it with low expectations. Those expectations weren’t even met. Women getting drunk and/or high, spewing obscenities ad nauseam, and killing male hookers–all of that did nothing for me. Kate McKinnon and Jillian Bell are funny ladies, but they were just wasted talent in this mess. One out of five stars.

I then watched Snatched, a film that I had no interest in at all, but it came up on the streaming service, and I had some time to kill, so I pressed play. It started out kinda lame, and I was about to start my eye-rolling and sighing like I did through all of Rough Night. But then, once the hijinks started hot and heavy, I found myself laughing, in spite of myself. The star, Amy Schumer, can be a polarizing figure for most; if you don’t like her, then you’re probably not gonna think anything she says or does is funny. I personally think she’s hilarious, and she was in the zone in this flick. And I’ve loved Goldie Hawn ever since Laugh-In. It wasn’t a “good” film; very few of these kinds of movies are. But it was entertaining, and I’d recommend it for some laughs. Two and a half out of five stars.

Comedy is subjective, and my humor is definitely not the same as your humor. It’s not that the lewd genital and fart jokes are “beneath me,” it’s just that at my age, I’ve seen them done to death. I’ll suffer through a little bit of that stuff, but you gotta give me more if you expect me to laugh.

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