27.1.08

The holy ghost is not a comedic crutch

Does anyone else find themselves spending a whole lot of time rolling their eyes throughout sacrament meeting? (Sorry, I realize that question might be irrelevant for some.) I, for one, am pretty tired of the "opening joke." Actually, let me change that statement a bit. I grow weary of the "I've spent the entire week coming up with something funny, and now I just have to pretend it is spontaneous when I say it," joke. You know when a 10 year old is giving a talk, and he begins it by reading a joke that his infantile mind surely could not have produced on its own? At which point, you glance at his mother who, beaming with pride, is the only one laughing hysterically. I feel like most "opening jokes" are about on that level.

Today's sacrament talks began with a real gut buster. Lately, my ward has been calling entire apartments to speak. This is always a neat experience, as at least one of the room mates always happens to proclaim which of his pathetic co-dwellers are single. Cue excited whispering from girls. Cue eye rolls from any self respecting people in the room. Anyways, having three room mates speak also invites real hilarious jokes involving said room mates. Today was a shining example. The second guy began, "I've been best friends with these guys for 7 or 8 years. In fact, we're like the three amigos, or the three musketeers...(cue pause, indicating some clever cogitation,) or...(slight phony chuckle, mixed with sheepish expression)...maybe the three stooges.

Really?

That was the culmination of an entire week of careful planning? At this point, I couldn't help but spare a futile attempt to find his mother preening in the audience. I instead shared an eye roll with my room mate Andre.

Here is a hard fact: if you are not spontaneously funny in normal life, you are not going to magically appear so from the pulpit. Unfortunately, it would seem that the Holy Ghost just does not have the power to carry your "funny" message to our stony hearts.

4 comments:

Snubbs the White Rabbit said...

OH my gosh man. Thank you for finally making this public. I was just talking about this with my two roommates yesterday. Its ridiculous. Another item that can be added to this list is the whole, "When the Bishop called me..." schpeal about how they were asked to give the talk. I want to vomit all over everone in the room when I hear it week in and week out. Oh yeah, and also the testimony that is not really a testimony but a "kind of" spiritual experience built around a funny story. Ok, either you have to hear someones lame church jokes for the rest of your life (thats all you hear, lame church joke after lame church joke), or you have to be at church every second of every day for the rest of your life. Which one?

nonamefromnephi said...

On second thought- although the lame church talk joke is pathetic and cliche, at least some people take time to fathom something that they think might be funny... other just say "Wow that is a long walk up here..."(smile, hiccup that sounds like a laugh).. and expect us to laugh. A roll your eye joke is better than that...

Anonymous said...

Wow, that was pretty harsh. If that is what you're choosing to complain about you must have it pretty good. Have you ever stopped to think that some people just aren't very good public speakers--they might be a bit nervous. Maybe their pathetic joke is actually for them--to help them relax. It's not all about you--every talk can't be exactly your learning style and quite frankly I enjoy a good "pathetic" joke--it's kind of cute that they try to relate to their audience instead of looking even more awkward as they sweat bullets and grow hoarse. I'd like to critique your speaking abilities--oh, but you're probably perfect. I don't mean to sound harsh, but I just get kind of sick of that whole "I'm too good for church meetings" attitude.

Fish Nat!on said...

I am also over anonymous comments. and rather than lame jokes, my face just turns real blotchy and red.