Andrew Lloyd Webber

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That Turd of Shame should be bigger. I still have that Jesus Christ Superstar LP, for crying out loud. But take heed; without ALW’s bloated messiah opus, Mr. Show would never have given us Jeepers Creepers Semi-Star.

That is top-quality parody there. The phrase “it works on a lot of levels” is overused, but it definitely applies here. If you sit through the Norman Jewison version from 1973, the sketch becomes a hundred times funnier. Plus Bob & Dave had the good sense not to hang the only black member of the cast, like the movie did. I mean, come on.

One positive thing to come out of technology’s destruction of privacy is that it’s very difficult to commit animal cruelty, like I depicted in the punchline. People who are cruel to animals are more easily caught nowadays, and typically they are destroyed online for their actions. I’m not against this. I first ventured onto the Hinternet during the age of Zippocat. I know what some subhumans are capable of. The sooner we get them out of the village, the better. They are the true Turds of Shame.

Turds are a touchy subject, especially as a comedic device. This may not seem like a big deal to you if you’re reading this on your phone as you pinch off your daily loaf, but entertainment and turds are not generally a good mix. This is a holdover from the television days, when anything toilet-related was verboten. Not just out of prudence, but because of the possibility of making the viewer get up and go to the john, away from the TV.

The house on The Brady Bunch gave nary an indication where almost ten people of varying ages might drop their leavings. An audible flush on All In The Family caused a huge swirly of controversy. Not everybody wants to be reminded of shit and/or shitting while being entertained. I confess that even though I made a movie where someone shits on a birthday cake, I jumped ship on South Park partly because they wouldn’t let up on the Scheiße Witze.

There’s an art to shit jokes. Less is more. One of the greatest scatological jokes that ever made it on TV was courtesy of Damon Wayans, on In Living Color.

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As street person Anton Jackson, Wayans would enter a scene and steal it completely, and for a punchline, he would produce a jar with a single pickle floating in it and imply it was his bathroom. Hilarity and pandemonium followed.

If the jar in question was spattered with chocolate pudding and contained a Snickers bobbing in clear water, it would only draw attention to itself. Not the right kind of attention, either; is that real shit? Are the actors in danger of getting sick? Thus, the viewer is pulled out of the scene, and it falls apart.

Now, say what you want about Wayanses, but Damon and brother Keenan are some smart dudes, and they crafted a masterful bit of comedy here. When you see the jar with the single pickle, you know what it is AND what it’s supposed to be, and it’s a guaranteed gut laugh. Who’s to say this poor bastard wouldn’t have a diet that resulted in green pee and picklish poo? That’s funny, as is the thought of Wayans in character pooping into a jar, and finally, it’s safe to laugh because it’s obviously not feces. Ta-dah!

Another successful poop joke is the turd-in-the-pool scene from the classic comedy Caddyshack. If it wasn’t absolutely clear at the start that the turd is really a candy bar, the scene would not work.

Let the record show that John Williams’ theme from Jaws is used beautifully for comedic effect. There was a time once when this was not something everyone did. I think it was even part of Rich Little’s repertoire of “impressions”. In any case, that scene is the most perfectly crafted turd joke I’ve ever witnessed.

I just can’t get down with talking poop. For one thing, it’s too easy, and can you imagine what kind of breath a turd would have?

I don’t know how I got here from Andrew Lloyd Webber. I guess he demonstrates the fine line between art and shit.

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