I can’t help but feel strange while watching “Christian Comedian” Robert G. Lee‘s highlight real, which fluttered across my Facebook feed this morning. Filmed over what looks to be about 25 years of performing, Lee’s mannerisms, inflection, and, yes, clothes all call to mind some of the (unanimously Jewish) giants of the observational comedy scene: Richard Lewis’ hair, Mort Sahls sweaters, and Seinfelds…everything. But while their comedy was an organic expression of East-coast urban neurosis with a particularly semitic flavor thrown in to taste, this is something entirely different.
Check it out.
It’s not that the comedy is all bad, it’s just the the whole thing is just… weird. The jokes don’t hit as hard- not because they’re not funny (not that they are, either) but because they’re wrapped in a style that seems entirely inorganic. Mayo-on-wonderbread comedy performed under the guise of a pastrami-on-rye. It’s like watching a nostalgia concert by the 6th generation of once-popular band that contains few, if any, of the original members; Everything’s the same except, really, nothing is.
To see the tropes of what has been more or less accepted as a wholly Jewish expression of humor performed as specifically gentile act is a first class trip to the depths of the uncanny valley. It’s all belt, and no borscht.
I can’t stop watching, but I can’t quite bring myself to start laughing, either.