THE INCREDIBLE MR. LIMPET: Premiered March 28, 1964
Originally published March 28, 2015.
They say that great comedians operate exist in a constant state of outrage. Even the hackiest of comedic premises (airline food, socks disappearing from the dryer) are rooted in a sense of outrage. It’s a belief that the loss of a sock is so inexplicable and frustrating that they merit discussion. But these aren’t discussions designed to necessarily find answers; the power of comedy isn’t in resolution. Instead, the power of comedy is in allowing us the time to sit with an outrageous idea. In giving us the power and the incentive to consider it from any one of many perspectives. Comedy provides us with the opportunity to consider our outrage from multiple angles, including the angle which questions if our outrage is even reasonable. And by doing so, it inspires us to seek an understanding of the things that confound and outrage us the most. Hacky comedians and hacky premises nudge us lightly to understand shallow things. But great comedians push us to consider our beliefs and our morality and the philosophies that guide us. It’s why great comedians are so often stand-up comics; the very delivery mechanism is lecture-based, like in school. But sometimes, deeper considerations can come from comedic actors and their performances. And sometimes, those performances are as a cartoon fish.