I love to laugh as much as the next cynical young person, so it’s no surprise that comedy is one of my favourite genres. However, there’s a handful of zingers that lost their zest about a decade ago that insist on popping up in recent releases. So if you ever plan on penning your own quirky mumblecore masterpiece, do civilization a favour and save these clichés for the deleted scenes.[hr]
Saying “mazel tov” in response to things that aren’t Jewish
You’re getting a divorce? Mazel tov! You just declared bankruptcy? That calls for a mazel tov too! Your kid’s getting circumcised? Okay, that might be a relevant example. The main thing here is that a sarcastic congratulations is a normal piece of dialogue, but throwing in a “mazel tov” just seems out of place and more importantly, has become overdone. Maybe you should stick to the traditional high-five seal of approval instead.
The other left/my left gag
Get it? Because a person can only have one left and one right. I’ve lost count of how many times a movie/show has had two characters argue over who’s wrong. “You told me to pick the left one!” “I meant the other left!” I wish these directors had made the right decision and left this kind of joke out completely.
“Are you drunk?” “It’s only __ o’clock!” “So that’s a yes?”
I think the only time this exchange entertained me was when they used it in Arrested Development, but then again, the cast could discuss the recent spike in corn prices and it would come out as comedy gold. Yes, some people like getting smashed at an earlier hour than others. I’m not sure how this basic fact became a tent pole for comedies. *Additional originality marks get taken off if this conversation is with an eccentric old woman.
Having a child innocently ask where babies come from
A recent episode of New Girl used this classic awkward moment-maker when Zooey Deschanel’s character was looking after her new boyfriend’s pre-teen daughter. Once this sensitive-topic bomb gets dropped, a crossroads emerges: do you construct some fairy tale explanation that involves magic dust and a mystical stork, or should you just give them the basic backstory of when penis met vagina? The main problem with this situation is that I really doubt that every child is just waiting for their parents to leave their sight before finally being able to ask this burning question. Or maybe I’m just weird because as a child, I didn’t constantly barrage my babysitter with reproductive inquiries.
Making a white character talk like an over-exaggerated black person
If I have to watch one more awkward suburban dad say “fo shizzle my dizzle,” I swear I’m going to go “wiggity whack” all over the script writer’s ass. I think this form of gag manifested some time during the ’90s, but I doubt it was even funny then. Having uptight white guys spew out nonsensical alliterated rhymes isn’t entertainment—it’s just dumb.
Anything to do with Adam Sandler
I liked some of his earlier stuff from when I was a kid, but when there’s a movie based around him playing boy-girl twins, I think it’s about time someone blacklisted the guy.