Kenopsia In The Pandemic Age

  1. Like the Valencia-Atalanta game, I know the slightly foreboding context of the deserted space, like a pleasant hike to Chernobyl. Maybe I don’t find it funny because I’m not in a particularly ha-ha mood. Or maybe no one is in a ha-ha mood, so the point of the show was never about ha-ha, except that the writing has all the same gimmicks and ha-ha attempts it usually does.
  2. There wasn’t enough time to prepare, the writers/J.O weren’t 100%, and just didn’t do a good enough job. Everyone is allowed an off-day without the entire art form and philosophy of entertainment being deeply questioned.
  3. Writing and performing for a laugh-less show is a subtly different enterprise, and the writers/J.O didn’t adjust to this fact. His voices, histrionic bits, and exaggerated expressions borrowed from Jon Stewart just can’t work on their own without the energy of a crowd, but other tactics can.
  4. Comic timing necessarily depends on playing off of someone’s reaction, either a co-star in a sitcom or an audience in a live studio. It is impossible to have a Last Week Tonight episode that appears funny despite lacking an audience.

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A novel insightful exercise to determine the pragmatic difference in intellectual payoff between a novel insight and an obvious fact mistaken for novel insight.

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