11/13/2015 – No Apologies

Back on the topic of comedy specials, I just watched Bill Burr’s “I’m Sorry You Feel That Way”. This guy is a genius. He delivers matter-of-fact brilliant insights on a bed of fuck it attitude that makes the hard medicine of what he’s saying go down silky smooth. I love it.

But there was something about watching this special that felt a bit off to me. It was when he would say something, or make a point, and people in the audience would begin to cheer in agreement. I can’t put my finger on it, but something about that made me feel uncomfortable. It certainly wasn’t that I disagreed with what he was saying. It was more that he was preaching to the choir. I have no idea if I’m going to articulate this at all, but I’ll give it a shot…

The affirmation of your beliefs and opinions shouldn’t count as entertainment. And, the more I ponder it, I think what bothered me was that it seemed as though some in the audience were more entertained by the whole “preach on, brother!” aspect of things than they were by the actual craftsmanship of his jokes. And, if that’s the case, it’s a real shame. Because Bill Burr is among the best in the business. His delivery, and the thought that obviously goes into every syllable of his routine is a remarkable thing to behold. But from time to time, I just got the impression that the applause was because “he said something I agree with!” And I’m not sure why that bothered me so much. Maybe it’s the echo chamber phenomenon that I’m annoyed by. After all, isn’t that what I hate about Fox News?

Either way, I’m Sorry You Feel That Way is streaming on Netflix and you should absolutely give it a watch. Funny stuff.

-John

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