I know a little bit about comedy, I've been tinkering around its edges all my life. It's not as easy as it looks, like writing. When someone has been dubbed a "comedy great" , I have an inkling of what it took for that person to have achieved that honour. So now we are mourning Jerry Lewis, one of the funniest performers of all time, and he did it without the swear words that pass for cheap laughs these days on the comedy circuit. I'm very sorry that his immense talent has gone out of this world.
Jerry Lewis was proficient at the art of slapstick humour, where eggagerated physical gestures are used for comic effect. This transcends language. As they say "a picture tells a thousand words", so does a chase scene with legs flying, or a pie to the face.
Pieing, however as it's called, is not always comedic, though it does make a visual point effectively. Sometimes it is political. In May this year, Alan Joyce, the CEO of an Australian airline Qantas, was pied in the face by a man while delivering a lecture.
Alan Joyce is a vocal supporter of legalising gay marriage in Australia. That's not surprising, as gay people have worked in the airline industry for decades when some other industries were homophobic. We are about to have a plebiscite, postal vote, and all Australians over 18 registered to vote, will have their say on the issue. Alan Joyce, and executives of other companies petitioned the government to legalise same sex marriage (SSM), before the postal vote was announced.
Here's what The Australian newspaper reported on the pie thrower.
"The 67-year-old former farmer who struck Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce in the face with a lemon meringue pie at a business breakfast yesterday has revealed he was not challenged as he walked into the invitation only event and sat on stage “for a couple of hours” waiting for his moment.
Tony Overheu has confirmed his motive for the extraordinary attack on Mr Joyce; the devout Christian says he is appalled by corporations that engage in “social engineering”.
Mr Overheu is understood to object to Qantas’ support for same sex marriage and on talkback radio this morning he read a letter he had sent to The Australian newspaper and The West Australian newspaper on Monday criticising Airbnb's billboard campaign , lobbying MPs to back gay marriage.
RIP , JERRY LEWIS and Thankyou for all the laughs.