Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Master Comedian, King of Wit

Julius Henry Marx, or best known by his stage name Groucho Marx, is considered by many one of the best comedians of all time. If you have not heard of him before you probably have seen the famous Groucho Glasses:

Originally starting out as a singing vaudevillian actor along with his brothers, they soon were to ditch their musical stylings for comedic skits. He is best know during this time for his quick talking wise guy character. The look of big framed glasses, with the thick black mustache and eyebrows also originated from his vaudevillian acts where he would apply greasepaint. 

After evolving from vaudeville acts to Hollywood  making movies with his family. His films were mostly well received and some are considered the most creative products of Hollywood during his time. He was also known for being a radio talk show host, where one of his quiz game shows then became live broad-casted on television.  The quiz game highlighted Groucho's form of comedy where it focused on his quick wit and wise cracking. He remained on air for 12 years, during which he won an Emmy. 
His style has influence modern many aspects of modern media. Where many comedians carry on his tradition of quick wit banter (John Stewuart, Stephen Colbert). I believe that comedy requires a big source of imagination, where a comedian needs to apply a constant ability to abstract the nature of a situation and distort in a manner that creates some form of perversion that it is funny. This level of imagination, also needs to continually be happening in short bursts that require a huge level of ingenuity and mental concentration. This level of imagination, also needs to continually be happening in short bursts that require a huge level of ingenuity and mental concentration. This use of imagination to extract the abstract elements of a situation is reminiscent of Einstein’s way of thinking. Einstein is someone who was able to imagine some of the greatest theories of physics through his thought experiments in which he would visualize and distort his environment.
Here are some of his skits:



  1. I have never before seen Enisten compared to a comedian before bit I think you did a great job highlighting the similarities of the creative process between the two. Also, I defintely agree that comedy requires a great amount of imagination. I look at Stephen Colbert, who you highlighted in the article, and remember how he successfully portrayed the conservative pundit in the Colbert Rrport. In my opinion, Colbert's ingenuity was his strongest creative tool. I remember Colbert consistently coming up with new words and phrases, which combimed with combined with excellent playing of his character, produced a satirical masterpiece which I came to enjoy watching more than the nightly news.

  2. I definitely think that this type of comedy requires such a large output of creativity because one constantly has to be thinking of new jokes, sometimes on the spot, and keep their audience entertained. However, comedians often go to that thin line between humor and insult, and managing to stay humorous without aggravating people (at least too badly) is yet another skill comedians have to have. I'm intrigued by your comparison to Einstein because I would half agree but say Einstein's creativity and a comedian's creativity are somewhat different. Einstein was more long-term idealist, trying to find solutions of problems and building on top of his ideas. Comedians keep churning out new jokes, innovating as they go. I think there definitely are big similarities, but big differences as well there. Otherwise great article!


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