Wednesday, January 30, 2019

"It's As If They Were Listening"

When I hear a joke – on TV, or someplace – that I originally made up – Martin Short did one once, Jerry Seinfeld did an entire routine – my reflexive reaction is to feel flattered. I mean, look at those names.  Two comedy aces, if ever they were one.  Or, more accurately, two.

My response on those occasions is not an irritated ”Hey!” but an exhilarated “Wow!”  Not “They stole my idea!” but instead “Look who’s thinking like me!”  I am not lying about this.  To me, it’s a compliment.

Unless I amlying about this.  

Which is not entirely impossible. 

Okay.  That’s comedy, where, by the way, creative coincidences are hardly exceptional.  All comedy people have a perceptual “screw loose.”  It’s no surprise, finding identical screws.

Well… stay with me because I am about to make a move… if I get excited when someone duplicates my comedy – comedy being my natural patois– imagine my even greaterexcitement when someone in a respected alternate enterprise – I do not recall who because, as usual, I did not know I’d be writing this post – describes a situation the same way I’vebeen talking about it for months.  Maybe just to myself.  But I’ve been talking about it.

I’ll tell ya, I felt like Hedy Lamarr!

You’re staring at me. Hedy Lamarr.  The 1940’s movie star who, during the war, developed a radio guidance system for Allied torpedoes – later incorporated into “Bluetooth” technology – whose work earned her induction into the “National Inventors Hall of Fame.”

“Take that, Marlene Dietrich!”

And if you’re not familiar with Hedy Lamarr, it was the same thing with Paul Winchell.  PaulWinchell.  Who areyou people?  Paul Winchell was a well-known ventriloquist – working with dummies Jerry Mahoney and “Knucklehead” Smith – who invented the first mechanical artificial heart.

“And real cardiologists said it was good!”

Hedy and Paul know the same thing.  It’s a kick, scoring in an arena, not primarily your own.

Returning from “Analogy Mode” back to me, that’s exactly whatIdid.  Nobody knows about it, but come on.  How many of you knew Paul Winchell and Hedy Lamarr?

Okay so here’s me, getting validating support in a venue loftier than comedy.  You may not believe it but there aresome.

A guy in the paper is writing about the spiking popularity of cable news networks. Why the measurable uptick in viewership, even on CNNand MSNBC, whose recent accomplishments include blowing the presidential election? 

The journalist’s rationale for this phenomenon runs thusly:

The most popular programs on TV are the NFL“Pre-Game” shows, where experts speculate concerning upcoming events.  

“What’s going to happen?”

“Will there be any surprises?”

“Who’s going to prevail?”

The journalist then makes the connection.

For over a year, there’s been an ongoing investigation, concerning possible illegalities between the Trump campaign and the Russians.  And since it began over a year ago, while awaiting the report’s release, cable news has delivered nothing but expert speculation concerning the upcoming event.

“What’s going to happen?”

“Will there be any surprises?”

“Who’s going to prevail?”

Ergo, the networks’ increased popularity.

Cable news is the longest “Pre-Game” show in broadcasting history.

Which is exactly what Isaid.

To myself.  Possibly to others, I no longer remember.  I’m telling you nowbut so what?  Somebody said it in the paper.  You’d think I was copying him.

Still, just like hearing my jokes emerge from somebody else’s mouth,

It’s nice to know you’re on the right track.

Though it won’t hurt to know who said it first. 

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