DAN THURMON, CSP Is there such a thing
as eloquent comedy?
DALE IRVIN, CSP, CPAE Well, I looked up the
word “eloquence” because I wasn’t exactly sure what it means. And it’s “speaking or
writing that is forceful and persuasive.” So I
don’t think that fits comedy at all. That’s just
my opinion. I mean, comedy should never
RON CULBERSON, MSW, CSP So there’s
nothing in there about beauty or craft?
IRVIN No, not according to Webster. But,
he was just a little kid with a TV show, so
STEVE RIZZO, CSP, CPAE Well, actually, there
might be something there. Read that definition again.
IRVIN “Speaking or writing that is forceful
RIZZO Alright. Persuasive. Humor is persuasive. Isn’t it?
RIZZO I mean, that’s one of the main reasons we have it—to counteract all the fear.
Anyway, that’s why laughter is needed.
Look at Christopher Reeve. In his book,
Nothing’s Impossible, the whole second
chapter was titled “Humor.” He said that
humor was his foundation. It helped him to
KEN FUTCH, CSP But I certainly agree with
Dale’s point about humor not being forceful. I think eloquent humor is the opposite.
THURMON Well, if I look up synonyms for
eloquence, here’s what I get: “expressive,
articulate, graceful, persuasive.” I’m interested in the “articulate” aspect.
CULBERSON Humor, when it’s done and
crafted well, has a real beauty and flow to
it. There are certain writers who are just profound. I think of Anne Melot, who I guess is
a serious writer. Her humor is phenomenal.
It’s crafted in a way that it catches you off
guard. It’s the way the phrasing is done—it
just knocks you back.
FUTCH It’s choreographed.
CULBERSON I also think Dennis Miller is eloquent. He puts so much thought and craftsmanship into the flow of his humor.
THURMON Absolutely. And all of you take
comedy to another level—in very different
ways: Ken’s storytelling, Rizzo’s impressions,
Ron’s deadpan expressions, and the way
you, Dale, are able to come up with
something so immediate and powerful.
Eloquence is unique to each of you. And I
think you share an appreciation for really
Humor, when it's done and crafted well,
has a real beauty and flow to it.
RIZZO Well, it’s because of his command
of the English language.
RIZZO So, we can look at eloquence in the
presentation of comedy, and also from the
perspective of the healing power of humor,
which is eloquent because it is persuasive.
And, people like us are the practitioners.
good comedy. It’s fun watching comedy
with comedians, because normal people
just laugh. Comics and humorists look at
each other very seriously and say, “Now
that’s funny.” Except you, Dale. You laugh
louder than anybody.