Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! May you look fondly upon the year to date, and may fortune smile on you in the coming months. And yes, that includes you, Tom Batiuk.
Have you ever watched a comedian start a bit, and it just sits there and dies? And instead of moving on to something else, the comedian just keeps going on with this bit, determined to persevere, and it just never gets funny, but more and more desperate? And the audience goes from unamused to slightly hostile, and then gradually starts feeling embarrassed for the guy, and finally goes straight into concern for his well-being?
Yeah, that’s what I’m seeing this week. None of this has been funny by even the most generous measurement, and throwing in terrible semi-puns just makes it more and more cringe-worthy.
I can kind of see the process here–“What would be funny for band members to sell?” And Tom Batiuk thought “Mattresses, of course.” And I’m sure someone–possibly–could make that into a funny week or so. But there’s that problematic word again–“funny.” Coming up with a funny premise is just step one–step two is to turn that premise into a funny joke. Otherwise you’re stuck with a bit that never gets funny and makes your audience feel embarrassed for you.
That might, might get that comedian some sympathy the first time around. But if he persists with that bit, thinking that sympathy is enough, he’s going to find his second audience consists of a few sleeping drunks, an irate bartender, and a scowling janitor anxious to start cleaning up.
There won’t be a third audience.
PS: If the “springs” bit is supposed to be a pun, I don’t think it works. I may be mistaken, but mattresses don’t have springs, it’s the box springs beneath the mattress that are loaded with springs. But I’ll admit I’ve taken a leaf from the Batiuk Book and not researched the Hell out of this.