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Remember When Comedy Was Actually Funny? What Happened?


Comedy used to be really fun. It wasn't foul, deprecating or insulting, the way most current comedians seem to be. Why have we descended into attacks on character, personality and people?

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After this arduous winter, with spring training just around the corner, Abbott and Costello popped into my mind.

Why would baseball remind me of two of the greatest comedians of all time? The answer: Who's On First? For those unfamiliar with Abbott and Costello, it's time for you to learn:

I needed a good chuckle after enduring ice dams, water leaks and black ice on the driveway. Comedy used to be really fun. It wasn't foul. It wasn't deprecating. And it wasn't insulting, the way most current comedians seem to be.

Why have we descended into attacks on character, personality and people?

Like art, comedy is a reflection of the society in which we live. It sure seems like decency, humility and wisdom are things of the past. Our leaders certainly don't inspire us to emulate these ideals. Instead we have become desensitized by bickering, partisan politics, and misguided greed.

If we have indeed lost our innocence, by what has it been replaced? Community organizers immediately place thousands of protestors on the streets following a police shooting no matter how justified the act was, and no matter how horrific the acts of the deceased. The media rushes in to fan the seeds of discontent in an unemployed populace of young, disillusioned citizens. The protests quickly turn to looting, riots and not so civil disobedience.

The rioters who worship celebrity athletes and actors whose morals are questionable at best, have no one of ethical value to emulate. Our president fans the flames of prejudice by sending his emissary, Erick Holder, to apply the full weight of the Federal Government upon small police forces merely trying to do their job and keep their citizenry safe. It's a recipe for disaster and disgruntlement.

What is the solution? Perhaps it begins in our homes where our children imitate their parents. Like a baby duck imprinting the mother it follows, our children learn by imitating our every move. And when children don't have a father to mimic, they turn to their peers for guidance. Following the actions of a adolescent male whose brain is not yet fully formed, is the surest way to juvenal delinquency and, in adult life, unemployable malcontents.

Why do we embrace single parents as virtuous survivors rather than asking what we can do to strengthen marriages and provide a support structure for those couples contemplating divorce? Our nation's survival is dependent upon the family structure to hold society together. Without it we will see more and more breakdown in civility, modesty, and morality.

Good natured humor serves to relieve the stresses of life. It allows us to look into our own idiosyncrasies and have some fun along the way. Tonight I am going to watch the "Blues Brothers." I just feel like a night of light hearted laughter.

John Lawrence Allen, a nationally recognized legal expert, represents investors nationwide in securities arbitration. Mr. Allen’s second book, “Make Wall Street Pay You Back,” was just released. For more information visit

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