This guy, to me, is the Canadian comedic successor to George Carlin. Both are true masters of their craft that all comics need to study if they ever want to hit it big.
They both are lovers of language who shape their presentation to not only make you laugh but to show that comedy can have a true point to express about the insanity of our times.
James has a fantastic stream of conscience delivery that pulls you right into the joke and creates an every growing and complicated image in your mind before he hits you with the punchline. Dennis Miller tries to do this but fails miserably because he is mean and smarmy.
James is kind in his humor and can make you laugh without filling his whole act with the word FUCK.
Using that word in stand-up comedy is the last refuge of the desperate man. Anyone will laugh at something if you put enough of the word into it but it's not genuine laughing - it's uncomfortable laughing. When you actually take the time to work on your act, you show the audience that you actually care to entertain them.
You can really see this when Director Kevin Smith does his storytelling lectures. His movie stories are so great and so funny but he ruins it for me by saying fuck every second line.
Don't get me wrong. I love the word, it is the greatest single word in the English language that EVERYONE understand sits alone, by itself, next to all the rest of the words ever created. Smith's over use of it take me right out of the story picture he is painting in my mind.
If you doubt me then watch him tell a story with the fuck words 'bleeped' out. The sound of all those dings will drive you off your nut and stop you from paying attention anymore to what you are hearing. That is totally counter to Smith's goal in telling the story int the first place.
Here is a clip from Ron James' annual special (airing tomorrow on most CBC stations) where he looks back at the year and gives his observations. This is Canadian comedy at it's best and the reason we are the funniest people in the world - and by funny I mean 'ha ha' funny not funny acting or looking. Enjoy.
This is him talking about Canadian 'institution' Tim Hortons.
Tim Horton was a Canadian hockey player who started a little coffee and donut shop when he retired from the game.
It has grown to become as much a Canadian symbol than the beaver, maple leaf or Mountie ever were. Seeing on in a foreign country is a home away from home for us. It's one of the things that sustains us through the long cold winters.
We would never declare war on anyone but try to touch our 'Timmy's' and you will see a side of us that you neither expect nor survive.
I don't drink coffee but I am a donut expert and their maple dipped or glazed donuts are heaven. Forty donuts holes (or Timbits) are the minimum I would ever order at one time. They are so good that the 'donut hole product (like Q-tips or Scotch tape) should be forever named a 'timbit'.
My favorite HULK covers part 1
4 days ago