I'm going to start a new feature that point out Overt people who hate joy and decide that it is important to rain on everyone's parade. They like to say that "SNL" isn't as good as it used to be, "Jaws" and "Star Wars" ruined Hollywood, TV is a waste of time, Michael Jordan should have never played for Washington, etc. Today's Joy Hater is Sam Anderson of Slate, who feels that "Spamalot" didn't deserve to win a Tony for best musical. Here are some choice joy-hating quotes:
"Spamalot is the Anti-Python; it systematically reverses everything that made the original funny."
"Camelot becomes a glittering Las Vegas casino. This might have been original comedic territory around the time of King Arthur, but now it's just tedious."
"The real Python would be mocking the mocking of Spam, not building an expensive production in its name, coordinated with special tie-in packaging by Hormel." [He knows better what the real Python is than all the living members of Monty Python, who approved the show -jh]
"Though Spamalot's creator, Eric Idle, has earned a spot in Comedy Heaven for his Python days (most memorably for his composition and chipper performance of "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" in The Life of Brian), he is much less funny outside the group's strict system of checks and balances—even his jokey "exposure" of his own exploitation (he has called tours "Eric Idle Exploits Monty Python" and "The Greedy Bastard Tour") is more irritating than funny."
"The original Python was a creative force that chewed up whatever medium tried to contain it—a Broadway show in that spirit could only exist off-off-off-Broadway, under an awning somewhere and would probably never find its way to the main stage." [Once again, he knows best, not actual Monty Python members. -jh]
"As a Python fan, I wanted to love Spamalot, but it wouldn't let me." [Sounds like he wanted to hate it to me. -jh]
And there's lots more, but I don't want to bum you out. Of course "Spamalot" isn't going to be as great as the original show, but so what? Everybody seems to like it, and it makes people happy. It is legitimate to review the show negatively if you don't like it, but this guy acts like Eric Idle and Monty Python owes him something. Ironically, Anderson writes that Eric Idle "has earned a spot in Comedy Heaven for his Python days (most memorably for his composition and chipper performance of 'Always Look on the Bright Side of Life')." It doesn't sound like he's taken the lyrics to that song to heart. So if life's getting you down, Mr. Anderson, just remember that you're standing on a planet that's evolving and revolving at 900 miles an hour. It's orbiting at 19 miles a second, so it's reckoned, the sun that is the source of all our power. I know that always makes me feel better.