Letter to the Editor | Monday, April 10, 2006
While I was disappointed by the blatantly back-handed content of Alec White and Erik Powers’ “Jockular” comic in the April 6 edition of The Observer, I was more appalled by how far it fell short of being funny. It read like a comic constructed from the Keenan Revue’s rejected punch lines.
Really biting satire, wit and irony, when used effectively, are the stuff of great comedy – and when really great, it should leave the criticized parties stifling a chuckle in spite of themselves. But when humor’s potent tools are placed in juvenile hands, the effect is akin to a whoopee cushion placed on the chair of that unsuspecting, awkward chubby girl in your bio lecture. While the joke may provoke a few reflex giggles, it should also produce a collective wince – both the stunt and its target are so obvious that the joke would be best confined to elementary school playgrounds or Adam Sandler movies. I was actually surprised that the comic didn’t somehow try to work in quotes from “Billy Madison” or “Napoleon Dynamite” – that tactic certainly would have been as easy as the name-calling Powers and White instead resorted to by implicitly terming Saint Mary’s students parasitic.
My aim with this letter is merely to call out Powers and White on what they did in that comic, which was to repeat a tired joke rather than to seek out new, or at least more cleverly and subtly delivered, material. I am familiar with their hilarious campaign last year for Notre Dame’s student body president and vice president, so I am sure they would have been capable of this had they any knowledge of Saint Mary’s beyond its stereotypes.
Allison RochealumnaSaint Mary’s College Class of 2005April 9