"Comedy is tragedy plus time."
Sometimes satire is just a matter of good editing; telling a story that was never intended in the original telling, but even more hilarious than the original when you toy with it. Ask Sean Hannity.
When Michael Richards took to the stage at the Laugh Factory in L.A, last week, little did he know that he would be providing America with more joke opportunities than anything in his set. Some of the jokes were far too obvious. Some far too sad.
But leave it up to National Lampoon, one of the greatest boons to satirical writing in the 20th century, to create the preeminent farce of Richard's all too memorable heckler rebut to surge back into comedy relevance...and do it by not writing a word.
You can find NL's Lost Seinfeld Episode at NationalLampoon.com to see hysterical evidence of what I speak, but don't go there yet. I need to make a point.
Good writers know that less is more. In film, "show it, don't say it," also applies. In NL's Lost Seinfeld Episode, the writers/editors (Scott Rubin, Phil Haney and Mike Clement), used the creative guidelines to perfection by editing old Seinfeld clips together with Richard's 2006 resurgence back onto the national scene.
Lampoon's Lost Seinfeld Episode can be seen at NationalLampoon.com but hold on one more second. I need to make another point.
I certainly don't mean to say that National Lampoon hasn't been funny over the past few years. The problem is that its humor has been hiding at the NationalLampoon.com website while the world at large has only been aware of the licensing of its corporate name to what some might call kindly, "less that satirical" film vehicles that sometimes last almost a week in the theaters before landing on the best-selling "DVDs for Horny Boys" list.
Okay, now you can watch the LSE at NationalLampoon.com. Oh, wait, one more thing.
As a disclaimer, I have done some brilliant work for National Lampoon in the past but since they saw fit to blow me out smack dab in the middle of my creative prime - seeming to miss the brilliancy I thought obvious - I certainly don't owe them any kudos unless they were was truly due.
And the Lost Seinfeld Episode is one that deserves it.
I have nothing else to say. Go watch...NOW! At NationalLampoon.com
Steve Young is author of Great Failures of the Extremely Successful, but has been reduced to writing his satire at on the LA Daily News Sunday Opinion Page.