How I Met Your Mother – Second Best NY Comedy Ever.
I reckon I am funny and I mean in a good way. Humorous funny not weird I mean. I make jokes, say double entendres, play with words, and tell witty anecdotes, do a bit of banter and generally people laugh.
I’m not saying that I am destined for Comedy festivals or that really funny people like Shaun Micallef, Roy & HG or Dave Hughes have something to fear but you know I reckon I go all right.
So I like to think I am an amusing guy. Amusing to every one that is except for my daughter. I know humour is personal. When I was 13 I could just about piss myself laughing at Monty Python’s Flying Circus on the TV and my dad would just sit there shaking his head at the absurdity of it all. But I am not a fan of slapstick so I don’t find the Three Stooges or Home Alone funny. I preferred Aunty Jack to Paul Hogan. Austin Powers and Little Britain to Mrs Brown’s Boys and Jim Carrey.
So have I mentioned I am a good for a giggle from everyone but from the girl child I get nothing? And like any ham performer this just makes me try harder.
I am not just telling Dad jokes either; I mean I am trying topical original good stuff not just your basic Dad knock knocks. Although I must say it is hard to beat classics like,
Q. What’s brown and sticky?
A. A stick.
Or even better I would love to shake the hand of the creator of,
“I went to the zoo the other day. It was awful; there was only one animal there.
It was a Shitzu.”
When the girl child was young we used to laugh at a lot of stuff together.
Charlie and Lola and Peppa Pig, Jeekers, Wallace and Gromit were favourites. Then as she got older it was great movies like The Incredibles, Finding Nemo and Despicable Me.
But we are past that now and we have also passed the good and the bad of older kids/young teens TV. Of course there is nothing like the quality of Hogan’s Heroes or Gilligan’s Island anymore which is a real shame for the youth of today.
And unfortunately for every good Aussie show like Mortified there was lots of crap. In a previous blog I mentioned some highlights of the USA teen comedy sausage factory but there were many shockers. If you wish to experience that peculiar sort of pain perhaps start where Ariana Grande did, with her Nickelodeon show Sam & Cat.
Anyway now that she is a teenager the modern classics like The Simpsons and Seinfeld remain to be discovered. But that’s not where we have found common ground.
Right now the show that has brought the whole family together in laughter for the last month or so is one that has been around for a while and we have been working our way through repeats. I am talking about How I Met Your Mother. HIMYM ran for nine seasons from 2005 in the USA but I am not sure on how it rolled out in Australia first time around.
I sort of came on to it haphazardly, introduced it to the family and thanks to Netflix we have watched it in a giant month long binge.
There is a lot not to like about How I Meant your Mother. In some ways the clichés of the Manhattan based sitcom [The Big Apple take on dating, apartment living, eating out, lifestyle affordability and careers etc.] are hammered to death. Friends had done all that to huge acclaim the decade before. But Friends never really grabbed me. I got some laughs out of it but HIMYM kicks its butt for me.
It’s not perfect though. It can be as sexist as the 1950s and by series seven the jokes around Barney, the show’s resident egotistical womaniser were getting tired and insulting to women as often as not.
Also given we are supposed to be in Manhattan it is kind of obvious and ridiculous how there are very few Asians, Latin Americans or African Americans in the episodes. And I got to admit I am way over the theme song.
But they get away with it because the scripts are really funny and generally insightful about friendships, the ensemble acting is great, the relationships seem more grown up, deeper and warmer than Friends and like The Simpsons there are great pop cultural references. There are some nice surreal bits of humour so it is not all obvious Yank jokes with a laugh track. Plus there are some left field kind of famous guest stars through the series, including Britney Spears, Alan Thicke, Bryan Cranston and Weird Al Yankovic.
We are talking about some experienced TV actors here so you would expect and you do get good work. Alyson Hannigan memorable from American Pie and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Jason Segal great in the sensational Freaks and Geeks, Josh Radnor in the intellectual over thinking “Ross” role and the uniquely named Cobie Smulders, perfect as the Canadian born career woman. And of course Neil Patrick Harris who plays Barney.
But what makes it different and really successful is the show structure.
By having the structure where the events are related years later by one of the lead characters to his children, the episodes are basically flashbacks which frees up the writers to throw in lots of cross references, in jokes, multiple character viewpoints, jump backs and jump forwards.
Sure like most TV series it could have lost a few episodes and no one would have been too upset but TV shows are like people; they never really want to die. And while not every fan loved the show’s final ever episode I thought it was great.
So we as a family have laughed together more at this TV show than any other. Not the one I would have thought but given all three of us have, as my pathetic complaints about my daughter would indicate, different senses of humour, credit where credit is due.
It’s not as good as Seinfeld in the best NY comedy stakes but very few comedies are. For me HIMYM gets a well deserved second place.
No songs this time - My favourite funny phrases
Why do you ask, Two Dogs?
My friend, Biggus Dickus.
Bueller, Bueller, Bueller
But you are effluent Kim
I will call him Mini Me
Computer says no
You can't expect to wield supreme executive power just 'cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!….
Hello I’m Paul Murphy and this is The South Coast News