Oct 9, 2006

demise of the comic duo

North Korea has tested The Bomb (or have they?). Outside, fall rain falls like fallout. One question:

Whatever happened to comic duos? Abbott and Costello, Martin and Lewis, Burns and Allen: gone, and in some cases largely forgotten.

The question came to mind this Saturday night, when Melissa and I were watching "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (and The Wolfman and Dracula)" with my parents, who form a Burns-and-Allen of their own.

(Sample: I made a crack about Harry Potter's sibling "Larry," and it turned into a race to find the most rhymes and puns, like "Barry Potter and the Bucket of Steroids." My mother stopped at "Fiduciary Potter." My father's two most salient entries were "Quaternary Potter and the Field of Horses," and "Aquamarine Potter and the Temple of Granite." Do either of those make a lick of sense? No, they do not.)

Was it American individualism that eventually tore the comic duo apart? Was it the triumph of stand-up comedy? Was it the tragic disjunction of Martin and Lewis?

Post-Cold War, shells of comedic pairs like the Smothers Brothers and the Blues Brothers and Bob and Doug McKenzie tried to carry the flag--but they tripped and stumbled. The closest thing we have now is Car Talk.

I miss the comic duo.

Update: But not this much.

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