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Do we really need a straight man to make comedy work?

Do we really need a straight man to make comedy work?:

mullaney:

I’d like to propose a simple change in terminology for analyzing comedy and improv scenes. Often two person comedy scenes will have one character who is inappropriate, absurd, irrational, illogical or weird, and another character who’s role is to react to this strange character as we think an average person might. This other character is usually more reasonable, skeptical, logical, or rational than the strange one. 

The term that most people use for this is “straight man.” I love the concept, it’s extremely useful, but I hate the term. Every time I hear it, it sounds more and more tone deaf. Instead, I think we should use the term “voice of reason” instead:

the voice of reason (definition): Often when one character in a scene is odd, weird or strange, we need another character who is the voice of reason. This character’s job is to react as an ordinary person might to the absurd character. They might be skeptical of the other character’s point of view. They might react by being annoyed, or amazed, or shocked, or nonplussed.

The voice of reason does not have to act straight, or like a man, they have to react as a person, a person usually very similar to the real life performer behind the character. 

If you don’t like this idea, feel free to keep using the tone deaf term. But if you are open to it, start using “voice of reason” instead. I think you will see it’s much more accurate and leaves out all the cultural baggage that normal and ordinary equals straight and male.

I like this. I hate the phrase straight person or straight character more than straight man – it fixes the gender issue, but seems to put more focus on the use of straight. I never had a good replacement.
This is good. Voice of Reason and the unusual character.

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tomfowlerstuff: bird person.

tomfowlerstuff:

bird person.

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tomfowlerstuff: bird person.

tomfowlerstuff:

bird person.

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These are my favorite comics of the last year. As best I can…

These are my favorite comics of the last year. As best I can remember. I might be forgetting something great. But I love these books. And they are all pretty different. Alex Fernie posted a list of comic book covers for the same reason and I am…

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens as re-told by Kevin Hines I…

Star Wars: The Force Awakens as re-told by Kevin Hines
I enjoyed the movie!

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tytempleton: Present Tense.More of my Christmas ‘toons and…

tytempleton:

Present Tense.

More of my Christmas ‘toons and lists are up on my site.

My favorite Darkseid Story (sorry Kirby)

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Batman vs Superman by Kevin Hines

Batman vs Superman by Kevin Hines

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williebhines: exploratorium: Cemetery of Dead Science on our…

williebhines:

exploratorium:

Cemetery of Dead Science on our floor this week!

fun!

Recent studies have pointed to the Brontosaurus existing. Dig up that science!

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November 4th teams!

threeonthree:

Nov 4th
1. Future Wives
Sophie Yalkezian, Kelsey Bailey, Kelsey McLaughlin
2. Clitterati
Janie Stolar, Chris Burns, Maggie Widdoes
3. We Dem Boyz
Sean Casey, Brady O’Callahan, Nick Guercio
4. Bogart
Rachel Taenzler, Hannah Katz, Cory Sne…

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williebhines: China, Day 2 Big Booty in Mandarin. Class is…

williebhines:

China, Day 2

Big Booty in Mandarin.

Class is great. We’ve done four sessions and everyone is starting to gel and relax.

A funny thing: they really belabor their choices in 3-line scenes, but they attack Mind Meld like nobody’s business. They tore Mind Meld right the fuck up.

Still at a point where total free form scenes are too scary. They don’t yet see how to make things pay off without a structure. But that’s okay! That feels normal. We’ve had a few killer scenes that we can use for examples. And even in scenes that don’t work fully, their performance is so confident that they are fun.

This is fun.

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  • Random Quote

    “I got beat up by that optometrist again.”