Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Balls of Steel uses lazy, lousy pranks to get laughs

I'm not a fan of this brand of comedy that relies solely on the shock value created by pranks. The latest of these is the Aussie version of Balls of Steel. In it, performers with outrageous characters compete to see who can be the most brazen in duping innocent bystanders. I know that some people find this sort of stuff utterly hilarious. But it usually just makes me cringe.

As I understand it, the unsuspecting participants are always told about it afterwards and have to give their consent for their reactions to be broadcast. The fact that so many people do just that shows what good sports they are.

Still, it seems to be a particularly cheap and nasty way to get a laugh. And while there is some preparation involved, it doesn't require much more than the titular "cohones".

Call me old fashioned, but I think that comedic stunts like these have got nothing on deception free, well written, thoroughly rehearsed and skillfully performed sketches and routines.

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