Thursday, March 27, 2014

Pedestrian humor

Humor is subjective, and anyone who has, in her adult life, chuckled aloud to "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" and "Keeping Up Appearances" and "Two And A Half Men" is in no place to judge. That said, I really don't see why "Pedestrians in Bars Eating Toffee," the parody of Jerry Seinfeld's "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee," is supposed to be better than the original. Didn't get through all of it, so maybe it gets amazing at the end, but even if it does...

I mean, it starts out strong - a description of someone's circa-2001 worn-out sneakers, where on the original there'd be a discussion of a hyper-luxury car. So you sort of think, OK, the gimmick here is, these are pedestrians, real people rather than impossibly rich ones. Because that's been the criticism of the original - that it's basically rich people being rich in fancy cars. But then almost immediately, in the parody version, we learn that these are young men who live and grew up in nice parts of Manhattan. They're talking about growing up on the Upper West Side, and having gone to school on what sounds like the Upper East. While this is not Seinfeld-level wealth - and while these specific young men, for all I know, may have gone to public school and grown up in rent-controlled apartments - Manhattan of today, even Manhattan of when these guys were growing up, is just not scruffy enough for the contrast to work.

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