Jim Gaffigan is a self-effacing master. He explains why publicly revealing your shortcomings has become so appealing. The "Jim Gaffigan Show" plays on TV LAND (http://goo.gl/5m8uKB).
Read more at BigThink.com: http://bigthink.com/videos/jim-gaffigan-on-self-effacing-comedy-and-his-victimization-complex
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Transcript - The appeal of the self-effacing comedy is – I don’t think that it is the defacing of oneself. I think it is the appeal of humility which I think we’ really kind of grappling for. But I think it’s all in doses. I think that similar to pop songs and music being more popular of a certain flavor at a certain time. Supposedly there’s a study that during horrible economic periods songs that are most hopeful are more popular and then during economic booms the more dark nirvana type music is more popular. I don’t know if that’s true. I read that a million years back. But I think, so I think identification in this human experience is a very appealing thing and I think that surprise moment which is very similar to laughter. It’s this moment of acknowledgement and a moment of being out of control and maybe a glimpse into ourselves is really important. And an insight into ourselves.
I realized that there is a certain victimization complex that I have that I probably had all my life. And again compared to African Americans or women or people in the LGBT community it’s nothing. But like being the whitest white guy was a burden. And in a way maybe we’re all – we all have a victimization complex. And we kind of illustrate that in hopefully a very humorous way through these episodes. And it’s interesting to write and create something and then edit it and see it in its entirety that what is your sensibility, what is your point of view because I have always known that my comedy was self-effacing and observational. But I didn’t realize some of the psychology behind it. And even when you write jokes, when I write jokes I’ll get to, you know, there’s different lines that humor and sarcasm is like liberty. It’s ever expanding and moving. But the line of self-effacing just as the line of irreverence is always moving. So someone just getting on stage and saying I’m ugly is not funny. But it could be funny, you know, self-awareness is a pretty compelling attribute among other human beings and I think that that self-awareness is something that it’s very similar to observational humor. It’s an insight to humanity. So me going on stage and saying I know I’m a pale guy who’s out of shape I think puts people at ease because there are so many of us including myself that do not have this self-awareness, that fix. Because we all think that we’re in a movie about our lives, right.
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