The "comedy" in Dear Evan Hansen

barcelona20
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The "comedy" in Dear Evan Hansen#1
Posted: 8/4/19 at 12:43pm
Just curious, did anyone find the line school shooter chic and the suggestion that it would have been wrong if Evan and Connor were gay in poor taste? Or is it just me...
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HamilHansen
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The "comedy" in Dear Evan Hansen#2
Posted: 8/4/19 at 1:00pm

The gay stuff didn't bother me, but the other line...not funny at all. Change it to something less triggering and offensive like "drug dealer chic" or something. 

copskid949
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The "comedy" in Dear Evan Hansen#3
Posted: 8/4/19 at 1:47pm
I think the entire point is that it shouldn’t be funny. It starts a conversation. Jared says the school shooter line and Jared’s not the nicest character. That’s just part of who he is, to say legitimately awful things for comedic purposes. He may laugh at it, but we don’t have to because we know he’s wrong for it.
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The "comedy" in Dear Evan Hansen#4
Posted: 8/4/19 at 2:49pm

copskid949 said: "I think the entire point is that it shouldn’t be funny. It starts a conversation. Jared says the school shooter line and Jared’s not the nicest character. That’s just part of who he is, to say legitimately awful things for comedic purposes. He may laugh at it, but we don’t have to because we know he’s wrong for it."

I agree with this. I could be wrong, but I don’t think the audience is supposed to think this is funny. I think the line is in there to show something about Jared’s character (that his attempts to be funny are often cruel and wildly inappropriate) as well as show something about how Connor is perceived by his peers. I don’t think it’s supposed to make the audience laugh. As for the gay comments, most of these also come from Jared, which again I think is again meant to reaffirm that he is immature and insensitive. I find these jokes and Jared’s characterization to be (unfortunately) incredibly accurate for a high school aged boy. I knew people like Jared in high school. Jared makes comments like this to Connor and Evan because he might not be cool but they are less cool, and therefore the perfect targets of his cruel “jokes.” He wants to seem cool and edgy but he’s not, and his attempts at humor come across as uncomfortable and desperate. Again, I could be completely wrong, but that’s always how the moments came across to me.

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darquegk
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The "comedy" in Dear Evan Hansen#5
Posted: 8/4/19 at 3:28pm
I think it's also a very important line because it establishes Jared not only as a cringy high schooler, but as a VERY specific trope: the "message board edgelord." This is a musical that was written in the early half of this current decade before the Trump era, when the stereotype of a person spending a lot of time on 4Chan or Reddit was "self-styled wannabe hacker with a dark intentionally cringy sense of humor, most of which is tempered with a vaguely homophobic sense of homoeroticism." When Jared turns out to be able to do basic hacking and backdating of documents, it makes sense, because he fits the 2010 stereotype of what kind of high schooler knows how to do that stuff.

Of course, half a decade later the state of online discourse and disenfranchised nerd-male culture has... shifted, let's say. In five years, Jared's "u mad bro" internet troll persona will probably feel as dated a trope type as the "wigger/wannabe-gangsta" trope of the 2000s.
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The "comedy" in Dear Evan Hansen#6
Posted: 8/4/19 at 3:32pm

Out of everything in this show - the themes, storylines, etc - the fact people get caught up on the school shooter chic line, and the gay joke as "poor taste" absolutely baffles me. There are many elements of DEH that are in poor taste. Those 2 jokes are not the problem.

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The "comedy" in Dear Evan Hansen#7
Posted: 8/4/19 at 4:33pm

darquegk said: "I think it's also a very important line because it establishes Jared not only as a cringy high schooler, but as a VERY specific trope: the "message board edgelord." This is a musical that was written in the early half of this current decade before the Trump era, when the stereotype of a person spending a lot of time on 4Chan or Reddit was "self-styled wannabe hacker with a dark intentionally cringy sense of humor, most of which is tempered with a vaguely homophobic sense of homoeroticism." When Jared turns out to be able to do basic hacking and backdating of documents, it makes sense, because he fits the 2010 stereotype of what kind of high schooler knows how to do that stuff.

Of course, half a decade later the state of online discourse and disenfranchised nerd-male culture has... shifted, let's say. In five years, Jared's "u mad bro" internet troll persona will probably feel as dated a trope type as the "wigger/wannabe-gangsta" trope of the 2000s.
"

I’m at intermission, and that’s how Sky Lakota-Lynch performs it.

"It's you." "It's me. Orpheus." "Eurydice..." *crying*
Rainah
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The "comedy" in Dear Evan Hansen#8
Posted: 8/4/19 at 7:30pm

The gay stuff has always landed super poorly with me. Not that a high schooler would make that comment, but that the SHOW itself (the framing, music, direction, lyrics, etc) treat it as a joke. It's funny because people will think they're gay, and that would be awful.

The worst part is Sincerely Me is a heck of a song and probably my favourite off the album tune wise. I love so much about the song otherwise. And I think there is room for some of that content, with a more critical narrative, which DEH does not have.
 

copskid949
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The #9
Posted: 8/4/19 at 8:28pm

Rainah said: "The gay stuff has always landed super poorly with me. Not that a high schooler would make that comment, but that the SHOW itself (the framing, music, direction, lyrics, etc) treat it as a joke. It's funny because people will think they're gay, and that would be awful.

The worst part is Sincerely Me is a heck of a song and probably my favourite off the album tune wise. I love so much about the song otherwise. And I think there is room for some of that content, with a more critical narrative, which DEH does not have.

"

I think the comedy comes more from a challenge of masculinity and the awkwardness of the situation than a parody of the LGBTQ+ community or even being gay. Evan, who is incredibly socially awkward already, is put into an even more awkward situation. On top of that, now he has to deal with clarifying that he isn’t gay, mostly because the people he’s trying to convince are the parents of the girl he likes. It’s comedic because of Evan’s reaction to an increasingly ridiculous and twisted situation. He’s not scared of being gay, just messing things up for himself even more.

Also, basically every line Jared says is a politically incorrect dark humor comedic relief bit. In a show with a plot as messed up as this one, that stuff becomes pretty funny. Please don’t be offended. Dark humor is dark for a reason, because it’s able to sort of transcend boundaries of what you can or cannot joke about. It’s only meant in the best way possible, either to start a conversation or to ease you up a bit. Think “Everyone’s A Little Bit Racist” from Avenue Q. None of it is meant seriously, but there is a reason that number lands so well. It’s so horrible that it becomes funny. Likewise in DEH, basically everything you could possibly say about the show’s sense of humor just comes down to that same ideology. Granted, it’s not always funny to everyone. That’s the point, so you think about what was just said and why a character would say it. Then you’re, like, SO much closer to understanding the point of the show.

Updated On: 8/4/19 at 08:28 PM
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The #10
Posted: 8/4/19 at 8:38pm

VotePeron said: "Out of everything in this show - the themes, storylines, etc - the fact people get caught up on the school shooter chic line, and the gay joke as "poor taste" absolutely baffles me. There are many elements of DEH that are in poor taste. Those 2 jokes are not the problem."

^ THIS.

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IAMREADING
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The #11
Posted: 8/4/19 at 8:51pm

i was surprised to hear them tbh 

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The #12
Posted: 8/4/19 at 9:27pm
Found a post I had written a few months ago about the shooter joke:

As a high school student, I have heard much worse than Jared’s line. Unfortunately, there are some teenagers who joke about tragedies and get away with it, so for me, the line establishes Jared’s character perfectly. The reason the audience is nervously laughing is because the kids all instantly realize, “Ohhh, he’s one of THOSE kids.”
"It's you." "It's me. Orpheus." "Eurydice..." *crying*
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The #13
Posted: 8/4/19 at 9:37pm

This discussion topic and most of the responses are a Portlandia skit.

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The #14
Posted: 8/5/19 at 12:24am

joevitus said: "This discussion topic and most of the responses are a Portlandia skit."

True. The target of the gay references in "Sincerely Me" are to "homosexual panic", not gay persons. We laugh at how terrifying the idea can be at puberty, when raging hormones make everything so confusing.

And "school shooter chic" makes me immediately think of the Columbine killers in their black trench coats. That was 20 years ago! Again, the song is mocking a well-known high school type, not the Columbine victims.

What is this nonsensical need to find political fault with what is basically a simple, traditional comedy-drama?

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The #15
Posted: 8/5/19 at 1:06am

GavestonPS said: "joevitus said: "This discussion topic and most of the responses are a Portlandia skit."

True. The target of the gay references in "Sincerely Me" are to "homosexual panic", not gay persons. We laugh at how terrifying the idea can be at puberty, when raging hormones make everything so confusing.

And "school shooter chic" makes me immediately think of the Columbine killers in their black trench coats. That was 20 years ago! Again, the song is mocking a well-known high school type, not the Columbine victims.

What is this nonsensical need to find political fault with what is basically a simple, traditional comedy-drama?
"

Agree. It make me wonder how these people would respond to Heathers.

copskid949
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The #16
Posted: 8/5/19 at 1:40am

joevitus said: "GavestonPS said: "joevitus said: "This discussion topic and most of the responses are a Portlandia skit."

True. The target of the gay references in "Sincerely Me" are to "homosexual panic", not gay persons. We laugh at how terrifying the idea can be at puberty, when raging hormones make everything so confusing.

And "school shooter chic" makes me immediately think of the Columbine killers in their black trench coats. That was 20 years ago! Again, the song is mocking a well-known high school type, not the Columbine victims.

What is this nonsensical need to find political fault with what is basically a simple, traditional comedy-drama?
"

Agree. It make me wonder how these people would respond to Heathers.
"

I would pay good money just to watch a politically correct audience watch Heathers.

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The #17
Posted: 8/5/19 at 10:00am

GavestonPS said: "True. The target of the gay references in "Sincerely Me" are to "homosexual panic", not gay persons. We laugh at how terrifying the idea can be at puberty, when raging hormones make everything so confusing."

Well, the inability to discern the subject of a joke from its target is hitting epidemic level anymore.

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The #18
Posted: 8/5/19 at 11:44am
I think as a society we're having major, major issues distinguishing between what's portrayed on stage and screen and what's portrayed as right on stage and screen. Just because Jared makes a gay joke or Michael dresses as a woman in Tootsie or Sam Rockwell's character says racist things in Three Billboards doesn't mean that the authors are condoning the behavior and saying that it's right. There are allowed to be bad people doing and saying bad things in entertainment without it being wrong to include in said entertainment. Contrary to popular belief, Stephen Sondheim was not condoning barbers slitting people's throats and William Shakespeare did not believe we should murder our brothers.
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The #19
Posted: 8/5/19 at 12:53pm

copskid949 said: "joevitus said: "GavestonPS said: "joevitus said: "This discussion topic and most of the responses are a Portlandia skit."

True. The target of the gay references in "Sincerely Me" are to "homosexual panic", not gay persons. We laugh at how terrifying the idea can be at puberty, when raging hormones make everything so confusing.

And "school shooter chic" makes me immediately think of the Columbine killers in their black trench coats. That was 20 years ago! Again, the song is mocking a well-known high school type, not the Columbine victims.




What is this nonsensical need to find political fault with what is basically a simple, traditional comedy-drama?"

Agree. It make me wonder how these people would respond to Heathers.
"

I would pay good money just to watch a politically correct audience watch Heathers.
"

LOL

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The #20
Posted: 8/5/19 at 12:55pm

Broadway61004 said: "I think as a society we're having major, major issues distinguishing between what's portrayed on stage and screen and what's portrayed as right on stage and screen. Just because Jared makes a gay joke or Michael dresses as a woman in Tootsie or Sam Rockwell's character says racist things in Three Billboards doesn't mean that the authors are condoning the behavior and saying that it's right. There are allowed to be bad people doing and saying bad things in entertainment without it being wrong to include in said entertainment. Contrary to popular belief, Stephen Sondheim was not condoning barbers slitting people's throats and William Shakespeare did not believe we should murder our brothers."

So much this. I wonder how such audiences would respond to the original lyrics to "You Could Drive a Person Crazy," which were re-written in the early 90's (personally, I think the original lyrics more accurately reflect the women's anger with Bobby).

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The #21
Posted: 8/5/19 at 2:56pm

I'm a high school teacher and I can tell you that comments like Jared are very realistic. Jared and Alana are supposed to be recognizable high school types. Jared is a wiseacre who is very insensitive. I do think in the OBC Will Roland had the kind of persona to pull off these comments without Jared seeming like a total jerk. Not sure if his replacements have the same abilities so the lines might come off as creepier than they were originally.

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The #22
Posted: 8/5/19 at 5:25pm

poisonivy2 said: "I'm a high school teacher and I can tell you that comments like Jared are very realistic. Jared and Alana are supposed to be recognizable high school types. Jared is a wiseacre who is very insensitive. I do think in the OBC Will Roland had the kind of persona to pull off these comments without Jared seeming like a total jerk. Not sure if his replacements have the same abilities so the lines might come off as creepier than they were originally."

I saw the show last afternoon, and Sky Lakota-Lynch was able to pull it off.  He was hilarious when he needed to be, and biting when it made sense.  Another thing that added to his portrayal is that he's obviously very scared of Connor - after calling him a freak, Sky literally BOLTED off stage, leaving Andrew Barth Feldman's Evan to clean up the mess he had made.

"It's you." "It's me. Orpheus." "Eurydice..." *crying*
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The #23
Posted: 8/5/19 at 7:06pm

joevitus said: "Agree. It make me wonder how these people would respond to Heathers."

I think their heads would explode if they ever saw a Joe Orton play, or any early work by Christopher Durang. To name just two of my favorite playwrights.

Or--God forbid--almost any classic comedy, where seduction, or even what we would now properly call rape, is invariably the driving force of the plot. Imagine the triggers!

Never mind Plautus, Shakespeare, Sheridan, Wilde, Coward, Albee or even Brecht!

 

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The #24
Posted: 8/5/19 at 7:16pm

joevitus said: "...I wonder how such audiences would respond to the original lyrics to "You Could Drive a Person Crazy," which were re-written in the early 90's (personally, I think the original lyrics more accurately reflect the women's anger withBobby)."

I would have been fine, given the period setting, if Sondheim had let that lyric alone.

That being said--and at the risk of seeming to contradict myself--the "F-word" has a negative power that rivals the "N-word". I think the lyricist rightly realized that he could keep the word only at the expense of having most listeners miss the next several lines while they wrestle with a single word they had just heard. While I agree with you that the "fag" lyric is true to both period and the characters singing, it just isn't worth it.

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The #25
Posted: 8/5/19 at 7:17pm

Amphitryon (Plautus or Moliere or Giraudoux) would definitely be a play endorsing rape by such people. Probably most French farce (which generally utilize disguise). Surprised the bedroom scenes in Rocky Horror aren't read as such (grateful that they aren't).

Yeah, the thought of such people encountering the work Orton or Durang is tremendously amusing. Heck, they'd probably respond to a screening of Baby Doll the way Cardinal Spellman did. Don't let them anywhere near a copy of Lolita.