Is anyone noticing how weird Mark Wahlberg is yet? And even weirder: his career. How is this guy executive producing every single show on HBO? I'll tell you how:
He doesn't masturbate.
Mark Wahlberg had some weird epiphany awhile ago and completely changed his life. I don't want to speculate, but I will. I think his wife caught him cheating or something, and now Marky Mark (he hates that) has devoted his life to her and to God.
Do you know that Mark Wahlberg goes to church every day? He does.
As mentioned above, he also doesn't masturbate. Why? Cause he says his wife is so beautiful and he "doesn't need to". Everyone needs to!
Remember that episode of Seinfeld where George stops thinking about sex and suddenly becomes a genius? That is what has happened to Wahlberg!
His wife busted his ass and demanded a change. And now he doesn't cheat, he doesn't masturbate, he goes to church every day, he doesn't think about sex, and he's devoted all of his thoughts to his career.
He was on Howard Stern the other day and you should've heard him. He was reciting box office grosses, tracking numbers, names, dates, locations! His mind is completely uncluttered from sexual thoughts.
He's getting into the diet supplement business. His brand is called, you guessed it, "Marked". He started a burger chain, "Wahlburgers". He's buying up books to make TV shows out of. He's financing movies and taking out his cut from the back end. This is what you get done when you stop looking for your next orgasm.
Did you know that Mark Wahlberg's goal is to run a studio? Cause it is. And at this rate, he's going to do it. So the lesson: stop jerkin' it, you lazy pervs.
And he does it all without having one ounce of a sense of humor about himself. Just none at all. It's astounding. He can't understand humor, and yet he's now starring in comedies.
But this isn't about Marky Mark Wahlberg.
I just bring it up because I saw "Ted", which he is in. And I wanted to make an observation about the movie and the man who wrote and directed, Seth MacFarlane.
There's a scene in the movie, a classic MacFarlane/Family guy type "flashback" scene, where Wahlberg is remembering something from his life as a scene from "Airplane". Remember the scene? Where Stryker first meets his girlfriend, and they dance together and he straddles her and she twirls him around?
Anyway, the scene in "Ted" is done in the exact same way as the Airplane scene. Nothing is changed. It is not made bigger, it is a replica. I mean, how would you spoof a spoof? You can't, and MacFarlane doesn't.
In the theater I was in, the scene got big laughs. But I could tell, they were not laughs because these people were recognizing it from "Airplane", they were laughing because they thought it was an original, funny scene.
Hence, lies the problem.
I call it "the comedy of remember that thing that happened", and Seth MacFarlane has made about $200 million dollars from it.
Many, many, many of his "jokes" are just references. People are reminded of that thing that happened, their brain goes "hey, I remember that thing that happened!", that was funny when that thing happened, and they laugh.
Add in a swearing Teddy Bear - Teddy Bears aren't supposed to swear! Hilarious! - and you have a giant movie.
But here's the thing...
Don't you have a duty to put your own spin on things? These flashback jokes - which have nothing to do with story or anything, they're just for joke sake - are bad enough. But when you're doing them as pure reference, it feels like some cheap bullshit.
Just look at this "Airplane" joke example.
If you actually put some effort in, and add a twist to your reference - then when people don't get the reference, they are at least laughing at something that is at least partially yours.
Apparently I'm the only one who feels this way. Being out of the 18-34 demo never felt so lonely.
So laugh on, America, nothing to see here.