December 13, 2012

The Evolution of Comedy

I realized the other day that one of the more interesting ways for me to chart my son's growth and development is through his comedic skill.

While it may seem ironic to use a skill that relies heavily on absurd immaturity to track your child's maturation, you are also reading reflections written by a man who called his wife a Mogwai for not wanting to eat left-over chicken late at night.

Let's begin:

Age 1: "Falling Down" - like most babies learning how to walk, Sippy Cup used to fall down.  A lot.  So that he wouldn't get discouraged, we would always offer a loving round of applause whenever he would fall.  In turn, he would laugh.  It didn't take long for him to learn that falling down would make other people laugh too.  It was all downhill after that.

Age 2: "Other People Falling Down" - once he had conquered walking, Sippy Cup realized that when other people fall down, it is pretty damn hilarious.  He became a huge fan of America's Funniest Home Videos around this time.

Age 3: "Hurting Daddy" - at this point, he began to recognize the power of an audience and started honing his crowd control skills.  He quickly learned that randomly drop-kicking me while I took a nap would elicit a raucous round of laughter from the M.O.M.  We went further downhill after that.  He also started taking notes while watching Tom and Jerry cartoons.

Age 4: "Knock Knock Jokes" - thanks to the popularity of Yo Gabba Gabba's Knock Knock Joke of the Day, Sippy Cup began to learn how to structure jokes.  However, he had yet to learn the finer arts of timing, delivery and punchlines.  Here's an example: Stand Up Routine.

Age 5: "Your Face" / "Burn" - this is a complex joke structure requiring mastery of all the subtle mechanics of comedy.  Here is an example from a few days ago which will illustrate my point.  I was so proud.

Me (surveying the aftermath of a toy typhoon): "Dude.  Your room is a mess."

Sippy Cup (looking at the pile on the floor): "Your face is a mess."

Me (astounded but smiling): "What?" 

Sippy Cup (sniffing the air): "Do you smell that?"

Me (afraid of where this is going but sniffing as well): "No...?"

Sippy Cup (screwing his face): "It smells like fire...'CAUSE YOUR FACE GOT BURNED SON!"

Me (laughing): "Freakin' awesome!  High-five!"

Sippy Cup (jumping up to give me a high-five): "HA!"

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