To help myself remember how I felt about various things that I finished
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Comedy from the Second City
Got this as a birthday present from my brother (thanks, Ben!) -- it's pretty interesting to listen to. A snapshot of intellectual comedy from 1961. Unfortunately, I think you kind of had to be there to appreciate it. It kind of felt like the sort of laughter that you get when people are amazed that someone smart is making a joke, as if the idea of intelligent humor had never occurred to them, and they are delighted to find it... in other words, the kind of laughing you do to sound smart. There is an extended sketch about people at an intellectual book club, for example, and a song about how Shakespeare's wife must have suffered... that kind of thing. There are some "old standard" jokes on here -- but the audience tends to ignore those. I only got one really solid laugh out of it -- a silly bit where Alan Arkin sings the works of William Blake as if they were cowboy songs. It was brief, but sharp and funny. Severn Darden is on here too -- I grew up fascinated with his solo album, with its Oedipus sketch. I can't say he was quite that funny on here, but he was definitely the one who taught me that intellectuals could be funny, and I was glad to know it! I remember being in junior high, and being really disappointed with his appearance in Saturday the 14th, as it was very lowbrow. Sounds like I would have been a perfect fit for that 1961 audience!
Jesse Schell has taught Game Design and led research projects at Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center (www.etc.cmu.edu) since 2002. Jesse is also the CEO of Pittsburgh’s largest videogame studio, Schell Games (www.schellgames.com), the author of The Art of Game Design: a book of lenses (www.artofgamedesign.com), and the former chairman of the International Game Developers Association (www.igda.org). In 2004, he was named one of the world’s Top 100 Young Innovators by Technology Review, MIT’s magazine of innovation.
Before coming to Carnegie Mellon, he was the Creative Director of the Disney Virtual Reality Studio, where he spent seven years as designer, programmer and manager on several projects for Disney theme parks and Disney Online. Before that, he was a software engineer at IBM and Bell Communications Research, and a writer, director, performer, juggler, comedian, and circus artist for both Freihofer's Mime Circus and the Juggler's Guild. You can email him at jesse(at)schellgames.com.