Absurdity & Humour

Scene – A television debate between a Catholic Cardinal and an author preparing to debate the existence or non-existence of God. Instead of debating through words, the scene turns into a ringside wrestling view. The existence or non-existence of God to be determined by best 2 out of 3 falls.


Surely this paints to some of you a rather absurd picture. Yet, it works. This is a rough description of a brilliant old sketch from some of my comedy heroes. While seemingly absurd on the surface, this idea works well and is just downright fucking funny. Religious wars happen all over the world, and always will go on as long as there are extremists who want to push an agenda onto others. The conflict in this sketch was the “God or No God” debate. The resolution and punchline are for the moderator to say to hell with it all, you can fight it out like everyone else. Adding to the humourous end of things, moderator decides a wrestling ring is the perfect venue.

This leads me to believe that a perfectly scripted pro-wrestling match might be a way to solve many of the great debates of the world.

Outside of sketch comedy, there is no other more obvious place to find absurdity and humour than the music world. Al Yankovic introduced a generation of music fans to the idea of taking popular songs and giving them new life with new words. Al’s subject range alone is worthy of being called absurd. Yet his brilliance is now being shared with a new legion of fans. Meanwhile anyone with a guitar and a camera can upload and share their own interpretations to YouTube.  Often some of these amateur expressions turn out to be hilarious.

Frank Zappa perfected mixing humour with music. I was late coming to his vast repertoire of work. His compositional skills mixed with eye-rolling lyrics are something to be in amazement of. Even as Zappa was nearing the end of his life, he still threw in different odds and ends to inject humour into his classical compositions.

Surely many of you reading this have an inside joke that might even date back to your childhood days. One of my long-time friends and I to this day will throw out our seemingly absurd yet wonderfully funny inside jokes from our days recording our “radio” shows. I treasure every single memory of sitting up late at night with a notebook or two and writing out the most ridiculously amazing and sharp-witted for our time jokes and then record them to tape. I should have done a better job of storing these tapes.

While I do not watch a significant amount of television these days, when I do I am looking for fresh and original writing which will capture the seemingly absurd and make it humorous.

I often reflect fondly on the work of some of my favourite work like Monty Python and compare it to stuff from today. It amazes me that their material still stands so far and above most modern-day comedy. It just goes to show how far ahead of their time they actually were.

The most seemingly mundane thing. The most odd observations. The most absurd words.

Can generate the most laughter.


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