Tear up the Hack List
There’s a clip of Louis CK‘s appearance on Conan that’s been ricocheting around the internet. (Clip here. Embedding has been disabled.)
In it, he urges folks to appreciate what they have and appreciate the wondrous times we live in. We’re not exactly sure why the clip has captured the public’s fancy– folks have been linking to it off their Facebook profiles and we even heard a nationally syndicated (conservative) talk show host speak favorably of the monologue– but we were fascinated because Mr. Szekely did a lot of airplane material.
That’s right– the subject that is the quintessence of hackiness– airplane material!
The word on the street, the word among the all-knowing, haughty gatekeepers of the art of standup comedy, is that doing airplane material marks one as a hopeless mercenary, a hireling who yearns only for commercial success, who lives only for the laughter and will debase himself in the pursuit of the yucks. (Airplane material? You haven’t written a joke since Reagan’s second term!)
In their campaign to keep the art pure, they have erected a fence around certain topics. Airplane material is one of them.
Of course, as Louis CK ably demonstrated, this is so much horse manure.
His appearance contradicts conclusively the notion that we can proscribe certain subjects, topics or premises.
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