Paul F. Tompkins is remarkably dapper, hilarious, and creative. If you'd like to be more like him you can buy a nice suit and write some good jokes, but can you teach yourself how to be creative? Today on Professor Blastoff we discuss the neurological phenomenon of creativity and how it controls us (as well as how we can control it). I'm sorry this description wasn't more creative. I really dropped the thematic ball this time.
Episode 28 — Creativity
Posted 08 November 2011 - 11:33 AM
Hey there T&K&D(&PFT),
Thanks so much for the newest Professor Blastoff w/Paul F. Tompkins-throw this one in the vault (or launch it into orbit with the Professor)-this was a great episode! Y'all are knockin' 'em out these days...
Posted 11 November 2011 - 03:28 PM
This episode was phenomenal.
(Now m'gonna rant about it for a bit)
Creativity, for stand-ups, becomes an especially important issue because of the material conditions of stand-up as a cultural technology. To say "material" for the product of comedy has major implications for the way we think about the less apt term of "writing" as the process of creating that product. All throughout the episode it is easy to see the tension between "writing" as an oral process and "writing" as a written process, and it is at this juncture that we might think about the conditions of stand-up specifically to locate the shaky grounds on which we present models of orality and literacy (and we might even nod gently over to current discussions of electracy and systems of "pun-cepts" which exists as a clear point of contact between comic genres and technologies of immediacy).
This is not to say that improvisational genres don't put pressure on that boundary (since after all it is the "vanguard of the postmodern". ho), or that comic forms with written commitments (such as sketch) don't impact discussions of orality. Certainly they do. But "writing" for stand-up is one of those murky and complex starting points because it exposes how the process of writing is both written and not-written. Comedy in general exposes the deep implications of contextual consideration, but at some point we must address the implications of laughter for the civic mind beyond Freudian exposition of the unconscious or the mechanics of incongruity. Discussions like the ones in this podcast, the kind that try to describe the incipient moments of the comic machine (of the "laugh factory" if you will), are vitally important for the conversation before us.
This conversation revolves around a comedy that isn't just dressing up "truth" to make the audience more interested through laughter. It is a comedy that also goes beyond active criticism where every mode of production deserves scrutiny, beyond "resistance." It is a comedy that supposes laughter as the starting position and the joke as it's product, instead of the other way around. I feel like this episode plays off the growth of this conversation in that "creativity" is really just a code for "how do we MAKE this thing we call comedy?"
ANYWAY....that's my rant. I feel like there is so much here to talk about. People that really want to think about the process of comedy and how it's made: this is one of the top episodes on the Earwolf network to listen to this year.
I've got this epi in my archive.
Posted 14 November 2011 - 02:34 PM
I loved this episode. I watched that video about the sideways hat wearing professor turning off the left hemisphere of the brain and noticed something peculiar: His hat has a picture on it. It is a picture of himself wearing a hat. What the hell?