DECADE OF THE YEAR: Comedy is Easy. Humor is Hard by Ellis Weiner

DECADE OF THE YEAR: Comedy is Easy. Humor is Hard

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A satirical outlook on political and socioeconomic issues of the 80's, as seen through the eyes of a fictional, struggling humorist. Weiner's thin story-line (stringing together pieces seen previously--except for slight revision--in Vanity Fair, the New Yorker, etc.) depicts a humorist attempting to sell his witticisms to magazines, TV, Hollywood, etc. Interwoven throughout are those samples of the writer's work. The issues he voraciously attacks include a broad range of subjects concerning modern America: e.g., the New Man, Star Wars defense, patriotism, Pentagon purchasing, Reagan, banking, Club Med vacations, Reagan's administration, writing, advertising, and more Reagan. Weiner's subtitle is appropriate--humor really is hard. One lamentable thought-session has the humorist philosophizing: ""Parody lived and died by the popularity of its target; to read a parody whose subject you didn't know was to struggle with a text that kept hinting at disclosing meaning without ever actually delivering it."" Weiner's occasionally too-cerebral sophistication becomes obscure at times, as verbosity overwhelms the reader with an avalanche of words; for example, on interior design, he states: ""rinky-dinky bric-a-brac and ticky-tacky knickknacks got accolades from acolytes going gaga for frou-frou."" Weiner's work will appeal to some sophisticated readers. Simpler Charlie Brown and Snoopy humor it's not.

Pub Date: Aug. 17th, 1987
Publisher: Dutton