i heard a female standup comedian once do a bit about standup fans who like to sleep with standup comedians. she referred to these types of people as 'chucklefuckers.' apparently it's a thing, like, maybe a fetish? or a, um, niche? i don't know. i didn't do any research on this. it made me feel so uncomfortable, like there's something fetishistic about being interested in a person with a great sense of humor. but i got the feeling towards the end that the term was meant to demonstrate the similarities between touring the country as a standup comedian and touring as a rock musician. that the intense loneliness of being on the road might be met with some kind of intimacy, but that a traveling comedian shouldn't take it too seriously, because it's more likely to be with folks who are interested in celebrity.
her bit got me thinking: dating a comedian must be really weird. a weird balance, specifically.
on the one hand, if you're dating a comedian, you really see them up close, and a lot MORE. so much of standup comedy is well planned, distilled, with the perspective highly controlled. if you follow a comedian home and live in their house, you lose a lot of those parameters. i imagine that you'd see all their offstage, not-really-very-funny moments. you see the lead-up, the input-- and you lose the lighting, the forethought, the social cues, and the audience. so, inevitably, you must see a less-funny version of that person. and that, if only because they're not scripted and practiced-- they're really just out there, experiencing life with you. and life doesn't often happen the way the stories end up coming out on stage. i would expect that the more time you spend with a standup comedian, the harder it is to laugh at their jokes, because you 'get' where they came from better. i also imagine that you, being present for some of the source material, remember those things as being less funny, because you're not that fucking funny and you remember it with your not-funny brain and it feels like something important has been erased.
but on the other hand, if you're dating a comedian, you must see this person up close. like, when they ARE being funny in their everyday personal lives. so you all of a sudden have to go from thinking "he was medium funny in his netflix special, there were notes i had" to "here he is at the grocery store making an offhand joke about avocados, and yes, he is way funnier than i am." that direct comparison must be a strange experience.
I heard an amazing suggestion once for the Olympics-- that in any competition, there be a "average Joe" competitor alongside the Olympic competitors, to demonstrate just the superhuman speed and strength of athletes at the Olympics. I love this idea so much. i'm not an athlete-- i'm maybe the antithesis of an athlete, if that's a thing. but if i were dating a comedian, i feel like i'd also have a lot of those moments of feeling very average. i'd be the guy at the olympics, 3 laps behind everyone else, demonstrating to anyone watching how funny my partner is. my life would become a cornucopia of realizations that no, i don't really have standing to critique this person's material. i imagine that as time went on, my personal understanding of how funny this person is would increase, as i keep comparing him to myself.
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