Thursday, December 04, 2014

The Birth of a Comedy Master

My daughter is two and a half and she thinks she's hilarious. Previously she'd do or say funny things from time to time and we'd laugh. She then assumed those words are universally funny and she'll say them whenever she wants you to laugh. Her "best" joke up until now has been "pee pee curtain." It came out of nowhere the first time, in a car full of people, and we all cracked up. She says it a lot now. We rarely laugh anymore, which is fine with her; she'll just come up to you, say it, then ask, "can you laugh now." I've been wondering if that could be an effective gimmick for an actual adult stand-up comedian. Maybe.

Anyway, over the last couple of weeks, Eva's comedy has changed slightly. Now, when she's asked or is asking a question, she'll often replace one word with something else. What's your favorite food, Eva? Headbands, she'll answer, then laugh at her own joke.

I realized today, though, that this is comedy. She's figured it out. At its core, all comedy - at least spoken comedy - is saying something people aren't expecting. Everything from the classic, "Take my wife, please, take her," to Seinfeld-ian observational humor (What's the deal with airplane bathrooms...), even to vulgar or gross-out comedians (Did she just say that?), is just timing. It's saying something people don't expect. The key to being great at it is figuring out exactly the right unexpectedly thing to say at exactly the right time.

Obviously my daughter is not going to be headlining in Vegas anytime soon, but she's got all the tools.

**Yes, this was short, but it was an interesting notion, just a bit too long for a Facebook post, plus everybody loves it when they see pictures of my daughter. Win-win-win all around.

No comments: