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"...comedy is clearly a higher and more difficult art than straight drama."

I'm not entirely convinced of this any more. I think it's just that with comedy you know if it's worked or not because you either laugh or don't laugh. With drama we have no definitive criteria for success, so we just assume it always works to some degree, therefore it's easier.

So I think our criteria for judging drama is too lax. If the criteria for successful drama was that it made you cry or gasp then drama might seem a more difficult art than comedy.

That's very true, I'd not really thought of it like that. It's the clarity that's useful in comedy. People either laugh or they don't. Which, if you use it as a strategy for making things, is very useful. Because you know if it succeeded. Which is what I find so troublesome with most serious art, I never know if it's 'worked' (which I'm sure is very naive).

I wrote recently about how id love to open an arcade, and reacquiant people with the brilliant fun it can be.

Just like cinema and dvd, arcades have merits beyond that of most consoles.

We used to be shown the Secret Life shows in science classes (years after it was originally on telly), much as we used to be shown Blackadder Goes Forth in History lessons - i.e. when the teacher couldn't be bothered to teach.

Unlike the Blackadder, which didn't teach us much about WWI except the old saws about mad, bad generals, I probably learned everything I know about mechanics from Hunkin.

And the 'How Things Work' books with the mammoths which he must have had a hand in.

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