Monday, April 26, 2010

The New Greece

Hear me out on this one because this is going to sound a little strange but let me draw the lines and then it will start making sense.

Comedians are the modern era's philosophers. Greece had the greats such as Plato and Aristotle, the Renaissance had Machiavelli and Thomas Moore, then came Nietzsche and Freud but who is after that? Some will say Kripke but 95% of people out don't know who that is; they probably think he is their local mechanic. Yet people will react when you say the names like Pryor, Carlin, Robin Williams, hell even Foxworthy.

See, comedians and philosophers aren't that different. Philosophers would gather in schools, in public forums, and bathhouses to share and exchange ideas. People would come from cities over just to hear what new ideas Socrates had came up with. Sounds familiar? Well it should. Comedians gather in comedy clubs, bars, and bathhouses to exchange jokes and new premises. People will travel a great distance to see Louis C.K. if they hear he is playing down at the Ice House.

The definition of philosophy itself - Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. In any comedian's 45 minutes set, he will talk about all of that and still have time to discuss the matter of which farts sound like turkey calls. Plato's Cave Theory is right on par with Carlin's seven words you can't say on TV bit. Both are arguably as well known throughout the world. The only difference is that Plato uses the "F" word more freely than Carlin.

There are different branches of Philosophy; see I bet you didn't even know that. There's metaphysics (the study of the nature of things), ethics, logic, or even political philosophy. There are such a wide range of comedians that comedy has been broken down into groups too. In one stand up comedy show you can see a a difference in comedy ranging from nonsensical (Steven Wright) to relative (Dane Cook) to characters (Larry the Cable Guy) to Political Humor (Jon Stewart).

That's just a little morsel of knowledge for you to chew on. Next time you are listening to a comedian ramble on about Chicken McNuggets and lies just think, he will soon be in a history book for his thoughts about creepy dudes on Craigslist.

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