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Artist: Chris Morris
Appears On: Blue Jam
Appears On (Mixes): I'm a Wound and a Sword, A Victim and an Executioner
Song Notes: "TV Lizards" from Blue Jam is a track I typically like to reference when I write about comedy; it really is one of my perfect examples of the division between dark comedy and mean-spirited comedy. The linked essay goes much more in depth on my feelings on why this sort of thing works, and I recommend people read it, but the basic gist is that in mean-spirited comedy, it's just an exchange of insults and abuse without any actual repercussions resulting from it; in dark comedy, there may be abuse and insults, but the writer of the comedy allows the characters enough humanity and dignity to actually be HURT by the abuse. In "TV Lizards", the straight man reacts the way someone REALLY would in a situation like this (absurd as it might be), he's terrified and enraged that not only is he in an unpleasant situation through no fault of his—he's being openly mocked because of it! In a mean-spirited piece, you'd just get an escalation of cartoony abuse, but in this piece you actually get real emotion. That's why this stuff works -- Chris Morris loves his characters enough to allow them to be hurt. - Rev. Syung Myung Me