Since the pandemic hit, I've scrolled up and down the seemingly endless pages of movies on every streaming service that I'm subscribed to countless times, and oddly, it's made me think about Todd Phillips' comment about the disappearance of the blockbuster comedy more than ever....because I can't seem to find many I haven't seen!
If you're not aware, when he was asked about why there seems to be so many less high budget comedies than there were 10-15 years ago, Phillips (who directed 'The Hangover' trilogy) said on the press tour of 'Joker' that it's because of the current "woke" society we live in.
Here's his full quote:
“Go try to be funny nowadays with this woke culture. There were articles written about why comedies don’t work anymore — I’ll tell you why, because all the fucking funny guys are like, ’Fuck this shit, because I don’t want to offend you. It’s hard to argue with 30 million people on Twitter. You just can’t do it, right? So you just go, ‘I’m out.’ I’m out, and you know what? With all my comedies — I think that what comedies in general all have in common — is they’re irreverent. So I go, ‘How do I do something irreverent, but fuck comedy? Oh I know, let’s take the comic book movie universe and turn it on its head with this.’ And so that’s really where that came from.”
I recall that being a pretty polarizing take back then, with a bunch of people on Twitter roasting Todd for being a baby when clearly, you can still be funny - but then he kinda got some support on that statement from people in the industry, so I kept thinking about it as I scrolled for something new to make me laugh every night. Could that really be why people are staying away from comedy right now? Are they actually afraid of the Deadspins of the world?
Last night, I had Alec Sulkin ('Family Guy', 'Ted', 'Ted 2') in My Mom's Basement, I threw the question to him....
Robbie: What happened to the blockbuster comedy? I know some writers/directors have brought up that because of the age we live in, with political correctness and all of that, nobody wants to make 'em anymore. Do you buy into that?
Alec: I think it's all cyclical. I think they're still here, in the pipeline, and they'll be coming.
We didn't know who Seth Rogen was until he was Seth Rogen, you know? He just EXPLODED onto the scene and all of a sudden he was like, the funniest guy anyone had ever seen! These people come around - and you only get a couple of them a decade who could support these great comedy movies - and they're here somewhere, so the movies'll be back.
There's even a form of them that exist for some people in the 'Jumanji' area, and while that may not necessarily be our cup of tea, those movies are very popular, very well liked, you know; they're big comedies!
Remember that era where all the big comedies were with Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker?
Robbie: Sure, yeah.
Alec: We'll go through a time like that, and then we'll come back, and it'll be more 'Ghostbusters' and 'Animal House' and that kinda stuff that we love.
Luckily, Alec set my nerves at ease with that answer. Take it from a guy who's co-written some INSANELY successful and well received blockbuster comedies - they're not gone, and they'll probably be back soon.
Hopefully it won't be long until we get our next big screen hit from the Seth MacFarlane/Alec Sulkin dream team.
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