Ed Grant, author of the blog Media Funhouse, has written a couple of posts over the last few months about Jerry Lewis’s retirement from his legendary Labor Day Telethon. And while I don’t consider myself much of a Jerry Lewis fan, it is in posts like this that the Media Funhouse blog blows my mind. It gets me rooting for Lewis, something I rarely if ever do, and points out the ways in which an entire generation of entertainment and showbiz is disappearing with little or no fanfare right before our eyes (not onlike analog TV). More and more we are left with controlled, half-baked predictability in our art and entertainment. While reading the Media Funhouse blog tonight I came across a parenthetical statement from this post written about the sublime unpredictability of Jerry Lewis’s Telethon that really resonated for me:
(If any of you haven’t yet detected “the common thread” in everything discussed in a positive fashion on this blog and on the Funhouse TV show, it’s that the unpredictable is what unites the “high” and “low” in art and entertainment. It’s what makes things interesting….)
I love this notion that the unpredictable is what bridges high and low in art and entertainment—this sense of being surprised, shocked or blown away outside of any formula. A moment where everyone is smacked out of their orbit for a second or two. And what strikes me is that there has to be an element of openness and willingness to let go in order to allow for something wild, and possibly magical, to happen—but at the same time it doesn’t mean it will, and that is kinda cool too.