April 24, 2006

"It ran sideways, like a crab, and all that."

Virginia Heffernan loves the Ricky Gervais podcast, but she struggles to convey why Karl Pilkington is so funny. Finally, she sort of gives up and transcribes a long thing:
"When me gran died, right, she had this rubbish dog, right? And that's all we got left. It's like this little poodle. It was rubbish, right. It's called Fluffy. And like me gran looked after it in a way like it was a human. Do you know what I mean. It had a little coat on when it went out, and all that. Anyway, so she died, we got left it, and me dad's like, 'bloody hell.' Before you know it, it only took about a month; it was a wreck. Because we weren't sort of bathing it the way she bathed it. If it wanted to go out, we took it out. It got covered in oil. It used to go under the car and everything. It went from looking like this fluffy, you know, poodle to just being a bit of a wreck. It got hit by a car. It ran sideways, like a crab, and all that. So it went from being overtreated to just being treated like a dog."
Still, if you're not hearing Karl's voice, are you getting why that is hysterical?


howzerdo said...

Well, no matter what voice, I have less than zero desire to "get" why abusing a poodle, and having it get hit by a car, is funny. Cruelty is not humor - and also it strikes me as very disrespectful to his "gran." (Mine had nothing to leave me except a box of recipes, and memories - which I cherish.)

Hazy Dave said...

A simple "No" would suffice.

Balfegor said...

Well, the diction makes it seem like he's from the North. And hey, the article says he's Mancunian or somesuch. It's pretty funny if you just run through with a generic northern-style accent.

On the other hand, pretty much anything can be funny if you deliver it in an appropriately droll northern accent. It's like Kansai dialect in Japanese -- it's just funny.

bill said...

Cruelty is not humor

Maybe not for you, but there is much comedy that is rooted in cruelty and pain. Most successful comedians, at least most comedians respected by other comedians, are often anchored by finding humor in uncomfortable and painful situations.

Remember the equation: comedy=pain X distance.

Or just go read The Funniest Thing About the Day My Father Died.

froggyprager said...

I have listened to the Ricky Gerves Podcasts and I think they are soooooo funny. I agree with you that the author struggles to explain why Karl is so funny and why the podcast is so funny and doesn't do a good job. The quote is odd and not typical Karl. Could have picked a better one. The article does not do the podcast justice, I have been cracking up on the bus and I think everyone was looking at me. While I think the accents make it funny, the british slang is also very good. I don't know where Ricky Gervis is headed in the future but these podcasts are absolutly great - simple quirky humor.

Rick Lee said...

I do know what Karl "I could eat a knob at night" Pilkington sounds like and I'm sitting here chuckling to myself reading that. Unlike Froggy, I do think it's typical Karl. I haven't downloaded any since they started charging 2 bucks for them. The free ones were funny but I just thought I'd sit out a while and see if there was any reaction to whether or not people thought they were worth paying for. It's definitely going to change your perception of how funny it is if you have to shell out for it. I'm already tired of "Monkey News" and I hope they aren't still doing that.

Rick Lee said...

"Cruely is not humor"

"much comedy that is rooted in cruelty and pain."

yeah, those Three Stooges weren't funny at all.

Balfegor said...

"Comedy is you walk into an open sewer and die," is the saying, no?

bill said...

I think I go the equation wrong, pretty sure it's "Comedy = tragedy X time." But in Crimes and Misdemeanors, Alana Alda says " Comedy is tragedy plus time! "

Other sayings:
It's funny when friends get hurt.

It's fun and games until someone gets hurt, then it's just fun.

k said...

are you freakin' kidding?? HIGH-freakin-larious. Yes, the voice counts, but ... I don't know ... is the rambling quality, the Faulkner-esque, the Benjy quality... what makes it work??

paul a'barge said...

"there is much comedy that is rooted in cruelty and pain"

And, none of it is rooted in the glorification or indulgence of cruelty.

If you are laughing to deal with your inability to overcome cruelty, or to point out the irony of the mysteries of life, that's one thing.

If you're leaving outside a small pet that has never been trained to survive on the street and laughing at that pet getting hit by a car, you're not a comedian. You're a monster.

bill said...

some guy who may have written some crappy songs in the 1980s wrote "small pet that has never been trained to survive on the street..."

And I'm thinking: "Ooh, ninja pets. Now that's funny."

EyesClosed27 said...

Both of Ricky Gervais' TV shows are quite funny;The Office and Extras. I am certain his podcasts would also be funny. I would love to listen to them - where is the link, please?