Is there any greater sound than a child’s laughter? Well, of course, there wouldn’t be were it not for the horrible duty that accompanies every titter. That terrible act you know you may have to perform.
Somewhere in the pit of your stomach dwells the knowledge that, if that minor’s mirth were derived from a Chris Moyles quip, you’re going to have to bludgeon the guilty infant to death with whatever comes to hand. And, as children tend to be surrounded by items purposefully designed to be soft and corner-free, it may very well take you a number of hours to finish off little Liam…bloody bean-bag blow by bloody bean-bag blow. ‘One of them was squeaking but I can’t be sure which one anymore.’ you’ll mumble grimly.
Such is the hatred bad comedy, and bad comedy alone, inspires in all of us. Were Liam to have been discovered watching ‘Hollyoaks’ or flicking through a copy of ‘The Mail’ he would have to be chided. A righteous scolding, but not the mercy killing early signs of a bad sense of humour necessitate.
So why does comedy alone inspire this reaction in us? Why is comedy such a high wire act? Maybe it is because it provides the purest moments of escapism. When laughter takes hold you are only laughter. The utterance of this moment of ecstasy transcends language barriers. To have been promised laughter and not had it delivered is to have been fouled most heinously. And worse, to see false prophets seduce the masses into grunting at the unfunny is to see humour’s very existence threatened.
And so, with a heavy heart, we go about our gruesome business. It can be difficult at times. Like the father in Wilmslow whose heart swelled with pride when he saw one of his twin daughters guffawing along to old episodes of ‘popworld’ on youtube. The very next morning that same dad, Graham, saw a very different sight. He observed his other daughter, Molly, snorting to Alex Zane’s feeble attempts to eke humour from the entrails of irreverence left in Simon Amstell’s wake. It may have been George Lamb pathetically trying to carry out the ‘Channel 4′ middle management edict for irreverence. Who cares? The result was the same. In an act as old as time Graham wandered into Molly’s room that night. Drunk and laughing he suffocated his daughter to death with the poster of George Lamb from her wall while neighbours softly sang hymns of solace.
As ‘kumbaya’ drew to a close one neighbour was heard to ask another. ‘Was that a poster of George Lamb or Alex Zane?
The point is that, the reason we rejoice in lists like the one in this week’s Mixer is that they offer us hope. As we turn that corner, upon hearing a child’s chuckle, fashioning a noose from a skipping rope, we live in hope that he/she sits before ‘South Park’, ‘Sarah Silverman’, ‘The Simpsons’, ‘The Mixer’ or any other comedy classic.
In offering us a reprise from the killings and a hope for the future, every classic on ‘The Mixer’s’ list is a winner.
Although, of course, the real winner is…‘The Office’.