Comedy and Coolness never really hooked up. They've flirted and even messily made out like token teenagers. At various stages of the past 30 or so years, Comedians have been hailed as the new rockstars (which must be frustrating to actual rock musicians). Whether this ever came to be is debatable. Sure, there was arena shows, loyal fans, adoration of women and suspicious merchandise with this dose of fame, but did Comedy ever really become cool? And can it afford to? It could be argued that Comedians are inherently NOT cool. How can you allow Cool’s required serious taking of oneself, whilst maintaining the sense of self deprecation needed to inform the Comic’s world view? We don’t have to look too far to see it’s not more than a novelty blip on the contemporary culture radar. From fashion, to print and online media and advertising, pop culture doesn’t seriously consider comedians seriously cool.
And why should they? As a cluster, Comedians are a jeans and t-shirt army, with the occasional wearer of cheap or thrift shop suits. Our interests extend from the nerdy fringes of pop-culture, and at best we are mentally and physically unshaped. Those that might defy this broad stereotype, usually have achieved some sort of success in comedy world, and have been sculpted with professional assistance.
The average punter doesn’t see comedy nights as a hipster’s hangout. No matter how many rooms or venues you play, where you think “this is a Cool place...right near where all the kids are hanging...should be peachy!” Besides the clearly uncool use of ‘peachy’ in that statement, the rooms tend to fall flat after a few outings. This is not due to poor promotion or production....it’s just that comedy isn’t cool. It is a novelty night out with no style cachet. Perhaps that’s why in some circles Comedian’s pursue the Performance Art world’s applause. We need a sense of acceptance. After all, comedy as a scene is more insecure about its identity than its own members. True holders of the cool gene tend to exude I-don’t-care-ness.
Ultimately what is considered cool and funny will change over time. But true style and comic ability has a classic timelessness that surpasses generations and trends- More an Izzard shaped black cocktail dress, than a pair of Two and Half Men print flannelette pajamas.