Friday, October 16, 2015

having a nice day

Reading and writing about Pope Francis's U.S. visit two weeks ago, naturally led me to think of the 1970s film, Blazing Saddles.  (Isn't that an automatic leap of reference points for most people...?)

"Stampeding cattle...?"

"Through the Vatican?"

The Pope.
Mel Brooks.

It's all good.

Actually in Blazing Saddles there's "something-for-everyone" as they say, and probably Something to offend almost everyone, too....The people who made that film had what you might call artistic freedom -- there are times, watching it, when a person might ask, "Yikes, did they have to be THAT free?" ...


I asked myself, Why is that line (stampeding cattle through the Vatican) so funny?  Why does that make me laugh so hard?  (The first time I saw that exchange between Cleavon Little [hidden under a KKK-sheet . . . umh -- yeah, that's what I was saying...] and Harvey Korman, I couldn't believe it.)

...So then I looked something up:  according to the Urban Dictionary,

Spoken Word

is poetry intended for onstage performance, rather than exclusively designed for the page.

Spoken Word

spoken word

Spoken-word...I was thinking, that Blazing Saddles scene -- stampeding cattle ...Through the Vatican -- is maybe

Spoken Word Slapstick.

"Slapstick" -- the physical comedy, the pies-in-the-face...

but with Spoken Word Slapstick, there's no pie, you don't have to get any cattle, or go to Italy -- it's all verbal, and the wildly off-kilter, off-the-wall image that each audience-member involuntarily creates for himself...

"stampeding cattle -- that's not much of a crime"

"Through the Vatican?!"

"Ah! -- Kinky!..."

Spoken slapstick.



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