Pepperdine University Welcomes Author David Misch for COMEDY AND MORALITY Today
Pepperdine University has decided to open up its appearance by author David Misch (writer for Mork & Mindy / Muppets / Saturday Night Live/SNL) to the public today, April 1st at 7:30 p.m. in the Payson Library, Surfboard Room (24255 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA).
David's multi-media presentation "COMEDY AND MORALITY" features clips from many famous moments is film and TV comedy history (i.e. Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner's "2,000 Year Old Man," "Blazing Saddles," "Monty Python," "Mary Tyler Moore Show," Abbott & Costello's "Who's On First" and many others).
David Misch, author of "Funny: The Book / Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Comedy", comes to Pepperdine with his presentation "COMEDY AND MORALITY". What's the relationship between comedy and morality? Is there one? Should there be? That's the question Misch will explore in "Comedy and Morality", a convocation which explores professional humor's role in defining, and defying, society's moral boundaries.
From the satirists of ancient Rome to last night's "Daily Show", comedy has never been shy about taking on the moral issues of its time. In satirizing and illuminat-ing society's hypocricies and immoral behaviors, though, comedians are frequently accused of "crossing the line," generally, they don't care. George Carlin: "It's the duty of a comedian to find out where the line is drawn and then step over it." But one thing is sure: wherever you draw it, your line won't be in the exact same spot as your neighbor's. So how do we as a society decide when comedy goes too far?
The convocation will explore this question by examining satire, taboos, and censorship. We'll look at W.S. Gilbert, W.C. Fields, Steve Martin, the Russian Orthodox Church, Billy Wilder, Monty Python, Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, and two outrageous "Saturday Night Live" sketches written by Sen. Al Franken (D: Minn.).
A significant point of discussion will be Mel Brooks' movie (and book and movie), "The Producers", a touchstone for controversy from the moment it appeared. To some a hilarious put-down of Hitler, to others a horrifying diminution of the Holocaust, Brooks' motives are unquestioned but what he actually achieved is hotly debated to this day. The convocation won't presume to find "answers" to any of these issues but will try to discuss the questions in a way that gets students to examine their assumptions and presumptions, and realize that comedy's relationship with morality is as complex and intricate as morality itself.
For David Misch, an establisher TV comedy writer, humor is a very serious topic, but a subject the reader will find thoroughly entertaining in his latest release "FUNNY: The Book." While recognizing humor may be easy, explaining it without loosing the comedy, takes talent. Both Carl Reiner and Jason Alexander offer their opinions (above), as do many of the author's colleagues from noted shows such as "The Simpsons," "Newhart," "Friends," "MASH," "Fraiser," and "The West Wing" with regard to David Misch's new book and the unique spotlight it puts on the topic.
Counted among David's credits are shows such as "Mork & Mindy," "Saturday Night Live" (SNL), "Duckman," as well as "The Muppets Take Manhattan" and the pilot for David Letterman's first talk show. Misch has written, created, and produced programs for NBC, CBS, ABC, HBO, and a host of other channels. So, as an expert in his field, it was no surprise that his new book would take a humorous and historic look at what made and makes American's laugh at others and themselves.
This Pepperdine appearance on the topic of "COMEDY AND MORALITY" will follow his NYC 92 Street Y appearance on March 22nd entitled "THE HISTORY OF HA!" "COMEDY AND MORALITY" is set for Monday, April 1. Tickets: Free (open to the public). Call 310-506-7273 for more information.