There’s no good way to debate what is and isn’t funny, at least not without coming off as completely humourless. (I’m looking at you, Salon.) But if someone is going to lay down some C-material comedy, it makes things a little easier.
Vice magazine sent one of its writers to see Universal Studios’ annual Halloween show, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure. Despite what the title would have you believe, the show has little to do with cult comedy classic Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure and is mostly just a hastily glued together mish-mash of topical cultural references with no coherent ties to one another. Because people think that’s funny. Especially this:
So yeah, that was a gay Superman trying to suck General Zod’s dick and subsequently getting knocked the fuck out for it. See what I mean about nonsensical cultural references?
According to Vice, Superman is turned gay after being sprinkled with — oh fuck — fairy dust, and as a result, “Superman’s voice and posture changes. His lips purse, his toes point inward, and his wrists become limp. His new voice sounds like a homophobic uncle doing a drunken impression of Richard Simmons, complete with lisps and frequent use of the word ‘faaaaaaabulous!’"
Is the joke specifically homophobic? Debatably, yes. I really want to write this one up to the writers getting a bit lazy and just firing off an easy joke to pad for time, but somewhere between the stereotyping, the beatdown and the fact that Bill and Ted’s immediate reaction is telling Supes that he needs to man up . . . It just seems to stumble headlong into territory it really doesn’t have the intellect to explore.
There are also plenty of jokes about race, including one about Kim Jong-un calling himself (and this is quoted as-is from Vice’s retelling) “supleme reader of the Munchkin Rand” before explaining that Sharknado was created when Kristen Stewart gave him a blowjob, and . . . oh goddammit. Just fuck it. I can’t even act like that’s not the worst thing to happen to comedy since Almost Heroes killed Chris Farley.
So let this be a lesson: stereotypes and pointless reference humour are cheap forms of comedy. They’re lazy, they’re unoriginal, and all they do is point at shit that people recognize and demand laughter. Never write comedy from anything under the height of your intellect.