Great American Humor Blight of '78

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“Robin Williams, Eddie Murphy, Billy Crystal. 'Nuff said”

~ Oscar Wilde on American Humor

Many people of the baby boomer generation ask "What Happened to Saturday Night Live? Didn't it used to be funny?" Well, maybe it was once. but then tragedy struck. Here is the true story of the Great American Humor Blight of '78.

Cold War Politics[edit | edit source]

Saturday Night Live when it was funny

Saturday night live was a victim of Cold War politics and the work of the secret forces both in the US and the USSR.

History[edit | edit source]

The Soviets had found that the US administration were working on a new secret weapon, code named 'reversal'. It was supposed to be so powerful that it could put and end to Russian comedy for ever. Congress gave Senator Joseph McCarthy the task of keeping the top secret details of 'reversal' from the Soviets. Unfortunately for the US he was an idiot and he failed completely.

It was however a difficult technology and although initially promising it was never brought to a level that the American public could accept. In desperation a prototype of this weapon was deployed late and over budget. It was tentatively termed the Yakov Smirnoff device. It proved to be a big disappointment and led to the downgrading and eventual cancellation of the project.

However, in the early days, the politburo were very worried. There was no bread and most of the population was supported entirely by a diet of wry wit, corny jokes and recycled fart gags. Any erosion of the world value of Russian humour could be catastrophic.

What Happened Next[edit | edit source]

The effects of the blight shown all too clearly

To counter this threat the soviets released a virulent anti-comedy virus in the US. It spread quickly round the circuit causing comedians to loose all their talent. John Belushi actually died of it and many artists like Steve Martin and Chevy Chase were left cruelly disfigured. They completely lost their sense of humour and comedic timing. Many lacked the ability to twist even the simplest non sequitur. Eventually the outbreak was contained and the long term sufferers were imprisoned in downtown Burbank. Although the epidemic was halted outbreaks have occasionally been reported. Even today if a comic anywhere in mainland USA spontaneously becomes funny the virus may flare up and and attack the comedian and many of those close to him or her. Because of this threat a hastily prepared bill was passed in 1978 that forced TV shows and films to limit how funny they were. The bill also insists that all jokes must be quarantined for 50 years before being allowed out. The year 2028 represents the 50th anniversary of this rule and some critics expect many new jokes to be released and American comics to become funny again. Most don't.

And the Consequences Were...[edit | edit source]

It was not known what to do with the long term sufferers and incurables. At first they were herded into a vacant studio back lot ready to be culled but a last minute reprieve had them released into a specially adapted enclosure. Unfortuantly they became restless and would harang studio vistors and make them cry with their hideously unfunny gags and by throwing shit (which was actually funny). In one infamous incident Eddie Murphy made a concerted effort to prove his long held belief that to be struck in the balls is the worlds funniest joke and further that the more powerful the blow the funnier it is. He after several pathetic attempts he eventually ended up emasculating himself with a Jumbo Jet without once getting a laugh. He has carried the emotional scars ever since. The assembled crowd were horrified and set up a foundation to try to help these pathetic creatures.

It was decided that what was needed was occupational therapy. They were given waste film stock and allowed to use it as the wished. These stultifying recording sessions were edited together into one and a half to two hour crapfests by specialist technicians as a training aid and as a warning to future generations. Some of these heart heart-rendingly embarrassing freak shows have escaped onto network TV where they resurface every so often to the annoyance of all. It must be remembered that films like Roxanne, The Three Amigos and European Vacation were never meant to be seen and should only be available to medical staff trained to deal with these issues. We should uphold the sufferers right to privacy by burning any copies that are found. Any Wayans brothers films should not be approached without completely blacked out welding masks and napalm as they can still be be contagious.