By Melanie Spina
Memes and viral videos play a huge part in what we know today as modern comedy. Almost every other day that I log into Facebook or any other social media site, I see different examples of what people in this generation find funny. Some examples, to name a few, are the Kermit the Frog tea meme and the famous Grumpy Cat.
Internet comedy can be funny and relatable to almost anyone. Doug Robinson, who graduated in May 2015 with a B.F.A. degree in musical theater, believes that this type of comedy speaks very loudly for his generation. “The Kermit meme is a great meme and it’s so relatable to everything we know because of the Internet. We’ve all been so connected because of memes, and they make everyone laugh,” Robinson said. “I think things like Vine and [memes] are funny, but, I am not sure of [its] lasting impact. I guess no one is sure of the lasting impact of our generation’s brand of humor,” he added.
Robinson believes that people simply have a lot of free time on their hands to ‘make’ their own humor, whether it’s someone creating a meme, or uploading a funny video on YouTube. “I think those who really know how to use their free time, use it well and have made a career for themselves and everyone else is just copying [them],” Robinson said.
But, Robinson also believes that there isn’t enough substance to physical comedy today. “People now try to be clever and witty, and often times it can go over people’s heads,” he said. “I think comedy writers are often thinking ‘man how clever am I’ and the point of comedy isn’t how clever you are; it’s what you are making people realize, and if you are so smart that people are missing it, you really aren’t that smart.”
Another issue that comedy faces in the present day is the issue of political correctness. It is common for comedians to make jokes that degrade others; however, when an individual feels offended by these offensive jokes, a common response is that it is simply comedy. The question is: how far is it ok to go with comedy? Does political correctness have to be taken into consideration?
Marielisa Andaloro, a senior sociology major, believes that modern comedy can be a little bit over the top. “I went to a fundraiser and there was a comedian who just [said] really horrible things, like degrading women, so people started to actually leave,” she said. “It’s really sad that you have to use comedy to do that; to get a laugh out of college kids, when you can use it without having to o end anybody.”
Comedy can sure have a big impact on what people think. I believe it’s important that comedians have that freedom of speech, but I do think some comedians can take it a bit too far when they use degrading comments in their jokes. Of course everybody has their personal sense of humor and what may be funny to some might simply not be funny to others. However, I do believe there is a line that can sometimes be crossed.
As for comedy on the Internet, I think it so popular because a majority of comedic trends are all so relatable. Anything can be turned into a funny meme or video and it’s guaranteed to be successful as long as people actually can relate to it. However, this modern comedy doesn’t really have a long impact on the audience. Just as one meme surfaces, there is one right around the corner that will most probably make us forget the other one even existed.