Sunday, October 12, 2014

Whatever Happened to Comedy Duos?

This may seem like a strange question, but it was spurred by a show I saw the other night on PBS.  I only watched about ten minutes of it; it was about a gay vaudeville performer and I really don't enjoy watching men kiss.  Sorry.  But it got me thinking about something that existed when I was young and that isn't around any more--comedy duos. 

I am thinking of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, Abbott and Costello, Stiller and Meara, Burns and Allen.  Now comedians are the last man standing.  They go before a crowd, totally alone. There is no back up.  No net.  No straight man. 

I am extremely concerned about lack of community.  It is epidemic.  There are only two, expensive bowling alleys in our area.  People used to bowl all the time  in leagues and with friends; then they bowled alone, according to Robert Putnam, and now they don't bowl at all. The bowling alleys, my son says, are "family fun centers" for little kids.  The kids can't play outside with the neighborhood kids, so they get taken to family fun centers. 

What must we do to recreate real community?  It is a question that is beginning to plague more and more scholars and leaders.  We see what happens without it, and without moral teaching that comes with it. 

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