Witness this bit of “information,” courtesy of Washington Post writer Justin Wm. Moyer on the occasion of the death of Judy Carne, Rowen and Martin’s Laugh-In’s “Sock it to me” girl:
“The joke now seems as cruel — and as difficult to explain to millennials — as it seemed hilarious in the 1960s: A young, lithe woman, often in a miniskirt or less, stands onstage. She announces that it’s “sock-it-to-me time.” Then, she is hit with a bucket of water, or dropped through the floor, or otherwise clobbered in some form or fashion.“
Is the Post now recruiting its feature writers from Jupiter? Are editors extinct? Has the paper decided that political correctness, hyper-sensitivity, gender-obsession dementia is both mandatory and universal?
What happened to Judy Carne is called slapstick. It is funny. It has always been funny. What happened to Judy Carne is no more cruel—that is, not cruel at all—than what repeatedly happened to Lucy, Laverne, Wile. E. Coyote—and Raven, Tina Fay…Katy Perry….
Anyone writing about history and culture in a national publication—about anything, really—has has an obligation to actually know what he or she is writing about, and not make stuff up. There was definitely a lot of stuff that was on Laugh-in that will look weird today to anyone under the age of 50 or so; after all, the show is a half-century old, and the Sixties were weird even in the Sixties. Goldie Hahn dancing in a bikini with words written all over her body, for example. People laughing at every mention of the word “bippy.” Nehru jackets. NOT women and men having staged catastrophes befalling them for laughs.
The constant abuse of Judy Carne was also a running joke, yet another staple of comedy that is both old and thriving. You know how Kenny gets killed in every episode of South Park? That’s a running joke, just like Judy Carne falling through the floor. Of course millennials aren’t “bewildered” by it. Of course they get it. Has Moyer ever watched any of the horrible kids and tweens sitcoms Disney inflicts on young minds daily? Clearly not: they are filled with running jokes, slapstick, and running jokes involving slapstick. That’s because they are comedies. These are all apparently alien terms to the Post writer.
The only people who think slapstick is “cruel” are the sad, brainwashed, indoctrinated souls who need trigger warnings, think a finger gun is terrifying, and write angry letters to TV stations about Bugs Bunny cartoons. Apparently the writer is one of these, or, as I said, from Jupiter. Either he thinks every millennial is like him, or thinks they should be like him, so he’s spreading anti-comedy propaganda.
Is it too much to ask that a writer assigned to write a feature about the death of a comic actress best known for running jokes and slapstick appreciate comedy, running jokes and slapstick? How about requiring him to state his opinions as his opinions, and not falsely attribute them to a whole generation? How about not demeaning the primary claim to fame of a performer on the occasion of her death, when that claim to fame was being a key part of a TV show, Laugh-in, that was a ground-breaking, influential, creative, courageous and often brilliantly performed show far more daring and funny than anything currently on TV? (That’s my opinion.)
Have some damn respect, in other words, for Carne, for Laugh-in, and for your readers.
Editors would be a nice addition at the Post…
Source: Washington Post