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Why 2 Gryphon is not a comedian; according to 2 Gryphon

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If you were to Google the definition of a comedian you would see it defined by Dictionary.com as an entertainer whose act is designed to make an audience laugh. Likewise the New York Times has a comedy critic, Jason Zinoman, who defines comedy in a moment of reflecting on his own career of analyzing them.

This often dictates the form of my column, since while the goal of comedy is to make you laugh, what’s fascinating about the art form — especially these days, when it’s so fragmented and aesthetically diverse — is that there are many ways artists accomplish that goal.

However, if you were to ask one furry who considers himself one, 2 Gryphon, you’d find an entirely different etymology of the word, and what the job of a comic is.

It is this quote that we are going to be over-analysing today. I have broken this down into three main points as to why this definition of the job of a comedian is not only a fundamental misunderstanding of the role, but also a resignation of the foundational principles of comedy.

Problem One: Call Me Old Fashioned…

When I personally think of the definition of a comic, the primary thing I think of is laughter. Because catalyzing such a response should, and should always be, the primary function of a comic. You can sprinkle in items of political politics or philosophical philosophy, sure. But if there is no laughter, there is no comedy happening. Like the above phrases comedy and laughter should be a redundancy. If you are saying one the other is implied.

A comic by that definition is no easy job, it requires an understanding of language and society that is quite deep. One has to be an assassin of simile, a master of metaphor, a player with punchlines. Once one reaches that level, then and only then can they comfortably start to dance with the dangerous dialogs dealing with devastating dilemmas that divide the denizens. Given the rapid changing sentiment of sensibilities, along with the trending globalization of culture, doing that dance becomes all the more precarious in time.

However, should the comic leave laughter behind at any time during this dance, they risk transforming themselves into something else entirely. And to me the quote by 2 about the scope of work of a comedian highlights his transformation, and that of “comics” like him.

“Comics”, which will be put in quotes when referring to it under the gryphon’s definition, will like to point out that those changing social dynamics are why people are ostracizing individuals such as themselves. They’re being put in a cage by those dang sensitive SJWs, or some such pejoratives. However, it must be noted that even according to modern sensibilities George Carlin is still seen as a titan of comedy during his time on this Earth. In his day, there were plenty of people who complained about Carlin’s comedy, particularly the religious.

So from what can be seen, criticism and people decrying “not funny” to comedians actually hasn’t changed as much as the “comics” would lead you to believe. What has changed is the way some of those on the stage have chosen to deal with it. The “comic” will preach at the audience about how offended people are, instead of making their counter-critique into a bit and transforming it into a joke.

Carlin did toss his punches at these critics periodically in his day, proving their ever-presence in culture. However it should be emphasized that Carlin moved on and didn’t obsess over people who didn’t find him funny. He kept to his job’s primary function of laughter. Despite having grievances of dealing with these people, he never lingered and preached about it. But it seems to be becoming more frequent these days by those on the stage.

Call me old fashioned, but I miss when comics remembered to focus on laughter first, and keep their preachy grievances to themselves. Or if you’re going to file a grievance, make your audience laugh while doing it. The audience is not there to take on the comedian’s angst. They are there to alleviate their own. If one forgets that, then that “comic” should not be surprised when they find themselves replaced by someone who remembers it.

Problem Two: Role Redundancies

In speaking of jobs and roles, there is something else wrong with 2 Gryphon’s quote. This can be discovered easily by playing a game of Family Feud with the definition given by Mr. Gryphon. We did a survey of 100 people, the top answers are on the board: “Name a profession that brings forth uncomfortable things and questions them in a way that makes people think about them.” What do you think the survey would say?

The first thing that comes to my mind as the possible top answer is a preacher. Which not only was a word that was quite pervasive in the earlier section, but was also what 2 Gryphon worked as in a previous lifetime. This background could prove a bit problematic if a comedian starts taking the role of the preacher, because proselytizing by those with religious zeal is what tends to make people feel grief and anguish that they go to comedians to alleviate.

You don’t need to believe in any invisible sky person to become infested with zealotry. Sometimes the biggest zealots are those that don’t believe in a God. For thou must believe in comedy as it shall raise you above the monotony. If you do not believe in the funny, then you shall not be saved. America continues down her dark and humorless path, and if she continues down that path she will find herself in the depths of comedy hell, presumably where all the bureaucrats go.

Other answers one could think of that may be on the board I have listed below. Some of them I actually got from my Twitter feed proposing the question as an open ended statement, which are linked:

Comedian may be on the board somewhere, but it would probably be at the bottom section of the list, as it isn’t the first thing people think about when it comes to that definition.

What I am saying is that this concept that 2 Gryphon puts forth as being the role of the comedian is actually shared by so many other roles in life that it is not a defining feature. Which then makes you ask, what is the defining feature? This would make you put the ‘ha’ in ‘ah-ha’.

Problem Three: Contemplate my words, just don’t take them seriously.

So many people who have read up to this point may think I’m over analyzing 2’s words. That as a comic, his lines should always be taken as a joke or in jest. Many who defend his jokes say that they should be treated as sacred items because they are just a joke because he's a comic.

However, under the way Mr. Gryphon just defined a comic, we are now required to interpret the words of the “comic” with serious thought. Because it is not the job of the comedian to make people laugh. It’s not the job of a comedian to just do it for the lulz. It is instead, as he sees it, the job of the “comic” to challenge their audience’s political or spiritual philosophy.

The punchline here is when the fandom has done this serious contemplation of his words in the past, and taken it as something to give consideration for debate, the “comic”, or his fans, will in turn become a wall to this discussion. “You’re taking his words too seriously. He’s just a comic.”

You can’t have it both ways. You cannot demand that people take your words with absolute seriousness because you are a comic and proclaim it’s your job to challenge people’s viewpoints, but when people counter that view point with their own jokes or thoughts, then hide behind the wall that a comedian is beyond reproach because they are just jokes. Clearly demanding both is to demand the impossible. You are stating that people should both listen and take a comedian’s words seriously, but your audience can’t rebuff the comedian’s words as absurd in a non-comedic way because the person on stage is just a comic.

The above paragraph is quite circular, so you can imagine that it can lead to quite a bit of frustration on the part of the critic. It’s a paradoxical shield used by many in the business who are bad at it, and usually serves as the first line of defense. Perhaps, instead in those moments the comic could listen to the critic’s words which reveal harsh truths in and of themselves. By listening the professional could learn and improve, yeah? Nah, those people are just humorless, stay the course and never change. You’ll be filling up those comedy clubs in no time.

It seems more and more these days that “comics” want to be the emperor, but unlike the emperor they don’t want to go through the effort it takes to put on the robe. And they’re not even going to point out how goofy it is that they’re running around naked as a result.

And that’s supposed to be their job!

Losing a job you never really understood

Due to the rules of Flayrah, I obviously have to mark this as an opinion piece, because despite what I’m stating is a fact based on the above statement and evidence, it’s quite a provocative statement for me to say. There is of course those who will defend 2’s right to call himself a comedian because he calls himself one and that is good enough. This is why I am obligated to mark this as an opinion piece. However, in some people’s opinion the United States didn’t land on the moon, so I guess in this brave new world we’ll have to label documentaries of the lunar landings as opinion pieces.

The Gryphon’s own definition of a comic has nothing to do with invoking laughter in others and thus alleviating tensions in some way. To any comedian that should be the bare minimal standards of being a comic. The fact that since that is the foundation of comedy and that it’s no where in 2’s definition of a comic, it is clear he doesn’t know what a comedian is, and thus it's not his goal to be one. A person doing a job without knowing their scope of work are going to start doing things outside their job’s function at some point. Those people typically don’t have that job for long. And that is why he had lost his stage time more than being a victim of political extremism as has been proclaimed. There were other furry comedians who were ready to fill that role of helping their audience laugh. You know, that thing comedians are supposed to do.

If a comedian's job truly is what the Gryphon states and is to make someone think about things that make them uncomfortable and not include laughing about or at them, then maybe that is the reason that the Western world isn't going to be laughing as much as it used to. The fault is not the SJWs, but "comedians" trying to change the role of comedians.

I end this with the words of one self-proclaimed “comic”: maybe just because you say you identify as something, doesn’t necessarily make you that thing. Maybe he should come up with a new name for this reinvention of "comedy" rather than trying to reinvent furry fandom. At least then I could stop using the quote button so much.

Comments

Your rating: None Average: 3 (6 votes)

I agree that the primary job of a comedian is to make people laugh which, strangely enough, is not something you seem to have addressed at all. He has had many, many fans over the years, which is presumably why you feel the need to write about his tweet rather than all the other bad tweets out there. The fact that 2 mentions laughter in his tweet, shows that he does consider it an important part of being a comedian. If we took your list of other professions and put them in there, it would be very odd to follow that up with a statement on laughter.

Even in your interpretation of the tweet, I don't think he's completely wrong either, professional comics that make social commentary are also useful. I would actually suggest that's what most comedians do these days, particularly with TV shows like the Daily Show and Last Week Tonight. They're meant to be funny but also informative and push a particular agenda. There is also the possibility that he is extending the definition away from its given form, such as when people say "the furry fandom is about creativity and acceptance." That's also not strictly true as a definition of furry but it's a sort of expansion into how they might imagine an idealised community.

In the end, this isn't so much an opinion piece as a personal attack on 2 which seems to have little relevance. Not only is the focus on a tweet which is now almost a year old but whether he calls himself a comedian or not matters little in the grand scheme of things.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

I agree that the primary job of a comedian is to make people laugh which, strangely enough, is not something you seem to have addressed at all

In the section "Call me Old Fashioned" the word "laugher" was used 6 times. In 2's definition it was used zero times.

His definition, by the way ends at the end of the first sentence in the tweet.

The second sentence is a second statement that has to deal with the first part of the statement. It is an afterthought.

Like if I go "It is the job of a furry to be a good performer in fursuit. If they don't then that means there is no longer going to be anthroporphization." If someone told you a sentence like that you're scratch your head. Some furries may do the former, but it has nothing to do with the later.

Do *all* comics make social commentary? No. Therefore are those that do not, not comics?

According to 2's definition that he leads with, they are not. It's kind of like inferring "Furries dress up in animal costumes". Sure some do, and those that do probably are more 'well known', but there are some furs that do not but still enjoy anthroporphizations without it.

To me for a furry the interest in anthroporphization comes *first*, the other things are tertiary. Likewise for a comic, comedy comes first, the other things are tertiary. Otherwise you're just a pundit or politican that happens to make a joke once in awhile if social commentary comes first.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

I haven't listened to 2's material in years, but in his early days I would have pegged him as a social satirist who was really trying to channel his internal Denis Leary. Social satire and critique is one possible use of comedy - I wouldn't say it's its job - but it's well-suited to the task. (George Carlin has drifted increasingly into that style as time has gone on.) A better wording from 2 might have been "I view my job as a comedian is to bring forth [etc.]".

Your rating: None Average: 2.2 (6 votes)

I'll let 2's words do the talking in this piece from Dogpatch:

https://dogpatch.press/2017/03/20/disgrace-of-a-furry-celebrity/

Your rating: None Average: 3.2 (5 votes)

This article has 2 many words for me so I translated.

DEFINITION OF COMEDIAN: MAKES PEOPLE LAUGH.

2 Gryphon says his comedy is meant to make people uncomfortable so they think about stuff. He says they don't laugh any more because people don't think as much as he does.

MAKING PEOPLE LAUGH IS THE MAIN JOB, AND THINKING IS ONLY PART OF IT.

2 Gryphon acts like people changed and stopped thinking, but he didn't, so now he complains about them instead of turning their reactions into more comedy. Some comedians (like George Carlin) could make people laugh about critics. But 2 Gryphon just preaches against sensitive SJW's, and he expects people to commiserate with his problems instead of laughing.

COMEDIANS SHOULDN'T BE PREACHERS.

Preachers don't make people laugh, and ones with too much zealotry make people think less. They just want you to believe whatever they say. Also there are many other jobs that make you think better than 2 Gryphon does, like teachers and scientists.

IF PEOPLE ARE SUPPOSED TO THINK ABOUT WORDS, DON'T REFUSE TO STAND BY THEM AND PRETEND IT'S "JUST JOKES".

If the comedian expects you to think about his words, and you do, but he's not good at it like a scientist or teacher, and he also didn't make you laugh, he can't make it your fault. It's not your job to laugh, it's his job to make you. When he's bad at his job, that's the kind of poser that real comedians make fun of.

CALLING YOURSELF A COMEDIAN DOESN'T MAKE YOU FUNNY

If comedy isn't funny, you will lose the job. Trying to blame the audience for not laughing isn't funny. Redefining what "comedy" means isn't funny. Expecting a fandom to turn into something different isn't funny. 2 Gryphon should try to be funny or use another name for his job.

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (6 votes)

See? Patch stating my article is too long winded, that's comedy.

Your rating: None Average: 2.2 (5 votes)

My article has 300 less words, ha, but that's not short winded. They say brevity is the soul of wit, so it would be funny if 2 switches to an owl fursona -- because all new furries will say when they hear his name is "who?"

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Ain't that a hoot.

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Yeah and I like a good shaggy dog story.

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (3 votes)

I thought this was gonna be about how he's not a comedian because he doesn't do anything anymore

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (6 votes)

So I think I've said this before, but I basically started my time on Portal of Evil defending 2*, and it's like, wow, backed the wrong horse on that one. After hanging out on one of the forums for aging PoEsters for a while, that came up and the response from one of the guys was a "oh, I always knew he was a Nazi" and I wish I'd called that guy out, because, while calling 2 a terrible person on the Internet eventually became correct, his politics (which, at the time, were those of an out gay man when pretending not to give a fuck, and anti-Bush when he pretended to) clearly not why he chosen as an exhibit or mocked there at all.

Of course, I'd say his failing is a massive inability to read the room; he made and defended transphobic jokes in the one "room" where his audience can reasonably be expected to have at least one transgender or at least non-binary person per show. I mean, I've been in a room where an open mic comedian made some off color gay jokes, realized the two people closest to the stage were in fact a lesbian couple, then warned me, next up not to do gay jokes**. It's not just that 2's transphobic; he's stupid about it.

Also, I mean, in his one attempt to go mainstream, he invited a bunch of furries to his show to get a big audience (which is pretty standard practice; if you think this is what I'm complaining about, you don't know comedy clubs). Then, he tried to hide this fact from the other comedians because he was afraid they'd make fun of them. Just setting aside that his being a furry was pretty much the only unique thing he had going for him, and he really needed to lean into that, and also setting aside this is making his "comedians are here to challenge their audience" rhetoric massively hypocritical, it's just a massive misunderstanding of how most comedian/audience relationships work. Because, if there's one thing comedians just love, it's a hostile crowd.

People talk about there being a rule in comedy that you "punch up, not down", but a rule just as real is "don't fucking punch the audience in front of you."

* I also tried to defend that Dracula furry webcomic, but even in those "bad old days" of PoE, the general response is "eh, it's really not that bad, just kind of weird".

** This wasn't much of a problem for me because I don't have any gay jokes.

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

If one has no gay jokes, are they playing it straight?

Your rating: None Average: 3 (6 votes)

I agree with the assessment that this article is an opinion piece.

Also I agree with the assessment that people identifying as 'something' doesn't make them whatever it is they identify as.

Your rating: None

I guess I'll take that mark, opinions are like asshole in that some are kept cleaner than others.

I mean, it's not the level of scat rimming fetish that the opinion of skull measurements having a metric on species fitness is.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (4 votes)

I was hoping you'd ponder more about our second agreement.

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Unfortunately you edited that second point in as I hit the comment submit button so I only saw the first sentence.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

"debate me bro"

Your rating: None Average: 3 (4 votes)

"I was hoping you'd humor my transphobia dogwhistle"

Fixed that for you.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

http://t.me/mikeretrieverracist

Your rating: None Average: 2.4 (5 votes)

I love to see the furry community engage in witch hunting.

2 is my boy, so hunt me too (I'm not flamable tho).

Well, I'll be...

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About the author

Sonious (Tantroo McNally)read storiescontact (login required)

a Kangaroo from CheektRoowaga, NY, interested in video games, current events, politics, philosophy and writing