Comedy fatigue is a funny feeling
Humor is a constant in my life that reminds me I will be OK.
Humor is a constant in my life that reminds me I will be OK.
There’s an episode of “Schitt’s Creek” in which Alexis Rose goes on a “Sunset Bay” binge. She plows through the soap opera’s box sets, but that isn’t enough for her. She heads to online forums to read fan theories and learn about all the behind-the-scenes lore. Alexis goes so deep down the rabbit hole that she even becomes a forum moderator.
The episode is a perfect representation of how I like to consume media. I don’t truly love a show until it hits 4 a.m. and I’ve lost track of how many different keyphrases I’ve used to try and corroborate rumors about it. (Call me an investigative journalist, if you please). My YouTube and TikTok watch histories become every sliver of the show’s content I can find. Then I must display incredible strength and stop myself from buying non-licensed Redbubble merch.
A similar process occurs when I find a new stand-up — by the time I go to sleep, I know the comedian’s birthday, hometown and other information that will never be useful in my life.
It is during these periods I am my most content self.
Recently, no show or comedian has sparked that passion for me. And, honestly, it has me feeling a little blue.
I will not lie: There’s plenty to watch. I’ve started “Sex and the City”; that’s been fun. I’m elated that “Saturday Night Live” has returned. I also have my forever favorites to keep me company — “Taskmaster,” “Community,” Julio Torres, Catherine Cohen — to keep me entertained and laughing. But, when I’ve already spent so many late nights scrolling through every Wikipedia reference and watching early 2010s interviews of said comedians, there is only so much more content for me to peruse.
I will add that I am probably more excited for this season of “SNL” than I have been in years. Pete Davidson was great. I am certain Bad Bunny will be a good time. And the Instagram commenters complaining about Nate Bargatze need to give him a chance — the best hosts are stand-ups (see Jerrod Carmichael). Still, “SNL” isn’t giving me the Alexis Rose-“Sunset Bay” energy I am missing in my life.
Also, I am avoiding doing a “Taskmaster” deep-dive because I am waiting for the entire new season to drop before I watch it, which, when that happens, I’m certain will send me back to my favorite obsessive feeling.
I’m not sure what it is. With all the streaming services (and between all my roommates, we have access to a lot), there’s so much to watch. But something in me isn’t allowing me.
Maybe it’s just the point of exhaustion in the semester that’s stopping me from enjoying myself. But usually, comedy is the one thing that gets me through it all. I suppose it is some form of escapism for me. Throughout all of life’s most difficult emotions — depression and grief, for example — I’ve always had comedy to fall back on for even just a few moments of cheer.
I love comedy; that has been long established. If I’m funny — well, that’s up for debate. But I certainly know what funny is, and I know the skill it takes. I know the power the genre holds: its ability to brighten a day, to present and discuss serious subject matter, and to form connections. Comedians can turn their darkest moments into beautifully crafted shows; it reminds me there can be a light at the end of my dark times.
Even though I may be in a comedic slump right now, this current feeling of emptiness makes me thankful for all the good times. I’m thankful for all my funny friends (I have fantastic taste in people), and I’m grateful I get to write about my favorite (and occasionally least favorite) comedy moments biweekly. It’s always been a bright spot of my week — naming it “Comic Relief” was truly a prophecy.
And I know I have a lot to look forward to. Again, season 16 of “Taskmaster” stays on my mind and in my heart. I will be seated and ready for Julio Torres’ “Problemista.” Netflix is a Joke Fest will be making a return! There’s so much coming into my life that will eventually bring me back to my Alexis Rose era.
Of course, not all comedy is created equal, and sometimes it ruins my day instead of making it. (Maybe I should call it “comedy.”) For example, why does Jimmy Carr so desperately want to be canceled? Just be funny and don’t worry about it. This isn’t entirely relevant — I just needed to get it off my chest.
Well, I guess if you have any TV or comedy suggestions for me, let me know. But ultimately, I know I will be okay. Because as comedy has shown me, this feeling won’t last forever.
Kimberly Aguirre is a junior writing about comedy. Her column, “Comic Relief,” runs every other Friday. She is also an associate managing editor at the Daily Trojan.
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