Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Just what is good, clean fun?

I opened up the paper this morning and there -- across the top of a photo of comedian Bill Engvall -- was a headline that said: "Good, clean fun at the Fair."
I read the accompanying story. I like Bill Engvall. I mean I like Bill Engvall as part of the "Blue Collar Comedy Tour." (The one I like best is Ron White but that doesn't really matter to this story.)
Bill Engvall, the story began, lived up to his reputation as "a clean and family-friendly funnyman." There was some yada yada and then, toward the end of the story, the writer detailed the jokes Engvall had told Monday night at the Fair. They were about, among other things, constipation and diarrhea, getting a cramp during sex, flatulence and Viagara (including the downside of a man's 36-hour arousal).
None of this crude, bathroom, junior-high humor offends me particularly but I did wonder how it could be categorized as "good, clean fun."
I was able -- through the wonders of modern technology -- to find not only the original version of the story but also a couple other versions along the way to the final edit that appeared in the paper.
It seemed to me that all that was missing was a good strong paragraph to explain things -- the kind of good, strong paragraph I found had ended up on the editing room floor.
The original story had contained a paragraph that said, "Arguably the cleanest funnyman among his "Blue Collar Comedy" brethren -- Jeff Foxworthy, Ron White and Larry the Cable Guy -- the Arizona native (Engvall) doesn't use f-bombs or expletives to punctuate his material. He doesn't need to. Instead, he uses something far more shocking: Real life."
So there you have it.
Good, clean fun.


Anonymous said...

Curiosity compels me to ask: Why was it left on the editing floor?

And who wrote the story in the first place? There's no name on the Web site, just "Special to The Chronicle."

Patti Ewald said...

The copy editor who put the page together cut out what he considered a redundant paragraph. The paragraph had been in a previously published preview story for the show.
However, since the same person -- John Benson -- wrote both stories, it was his right (and his words) to repeat.