I’m a big fan of comedy, but like with anything there are certain styles I prefer to others. I’ve never been one to judge another comedian’s selection of material per se, but I will point out when a performer is relying too heavily on gratuitous F-bombs and by “gratuitous” I mean the F-bomb makes up a majority of your dialogue.
But that’s not what this particular blog is about. This one is about what is commonly referred to as “potty humor” or in some circles “shit” jokes. Not a big fan, but sometimes they can make you laugh. I am a big fan of the theory that as comedians we’re only guessing and the audience is the judge, so if the audience is laughing consistently, leave it in.
The reason I bring up this particular topic is that a couple of my favorite comics: Jake and Rob are currently involved in a little competition that deals with “potty humor”. But I find it very funny and I have participated in the competition. Jake, known world over for his crassness, called Rob one night and said: “I took a shit so big it had a tail number!” (referring to an aircraft) This was played over Rob’s speakerphone and everyone in the room started to laugh. It became a game and everyone—even the ladies in the room, (most were comedians)—wanted to play along. So we all tried to outdo one another as to who could come up with the funniest line, based on the phrase: “I took a shit so big…”
I realized that despite the fact that it was potty humor, it was an excellent exercise in using contrasting elements to create humor. The game has even traveled outside our circle as other people have “texted” us with their versions.
Jake was recently re-crowned king of the shit jokes when he image-texted me this picture in the middle of the night: The caption attached to the picture said, “I took a shit so big it won an Oscar!” I laughed so hard I thought I might…well, take a shit so big…(Yes, I said it, and I’m not proud…)
What made the joke even funnier is that he is holding an actual Oscar won for ‘No Country For Old Men’ (speaking of taking shits so big…) Just kidding. This Oscar was from ‘The Bourne Ultimatum.’ I won’t say who won it or what it was for, to keep them from a possible embarrassing moment knowing that their prestigious award is the butt of a shit joke, (no pun intended). Who knows they may get a kick out of it too. A ton of people have surprised us with wanting to participate in our game!
Now I know there are going to be some people out there who are grossed out by this and for them I say, DON’T READ IT. Humor comes in different styles, genres and tastes. Some people like shit jokes, some don’t. But as a lifelong student of comedy I try to take in all styles and all types and if it doesn’t suit me I can usually be assured that somebody, somewhere is laughing.
So now it’s your turn. CAN YOU BE FUNNIER THAN JAKE?. This is a great exercise juxtaposing contrasting elements and for understanding that nothing is off limits. Give it your best shot…to get you started, here are some of the ones already in play:
I took a shit so big:
- Don King promoted it.
- Michael Bay directed it.
- Tom Arnold married it.
- It sacked Tom Brady
- You could see it from the Space Shuttle.
- It was insured by Lloyds of London
- It only gets three miles-per-gallon.
- France gave it to the U.S. as a gift.