Long Island has a rich tradition of breeding comic talent. From Jerry Seinfeld to Billy Crystal, to Eddie Murphy, few areas of the country have produced such genius in so small a geographic area. The absurdities of Long Island’s unique suburban culture generate a great deal of comedic inspiration.
A new comedian is now touring the County with a stand-up act, and it’s a howler. Clothed in the mantle of serious policy analysis, the act revolves around the woes of today’s “millennials,” who, in political parlance, have been reduced to a monolithic caricature, which every comedy routine relies upon. The millennials are portrayed as the helpless saps who can’t afford a home on Long Island, and the joke is the chief culprit is those pesky tuition loans they took on. Except parsing the data, that wouldn’t seem to be the real problem here.
You see, the average tuition burden in this country is under $30,000, and unless one goes to medical school, it’s not all that much of an obstacle to buying or renting, because if you can’t afford the monthly payments on a tuition loan of that size, you’re not going to be able to afford living on your own anyway.
Even if tuition costs were double the average, the cost would amount to about $450 a month. A more pressing issue would seem to be – just spitballing here – the $1200 a month or more in property taxes the down and out will pay, but for our comedian, that is a love that dare not speak its name.
Because the comedian knows what audience he’s forced to play to. And it isn’t the one in front of him, it’s the one behind him that put him on the stage. Tuition costs are indeed high.
But since the comedian himself isn’t much of a forensic accountant, even when it came to his own severance, he hasn’t yet figured out that the “tuition” for a K-12 education in Nassau County can amount to more than that of the cost of a degree at Columbia University.
The act also has a nervous straight man, as many comedic teams do. It’s someone whose outsized remuneration, funded by people who live in drafty old post-war capes, depends on capturing a new generation of the gullible to keep him living in the style he’s accustomed to.
And if the millennials don’t show up, that puts his franchise in danger. You would be nervous, too. Sacrifices might be in order.
One good thing about the tuition loan is that if you keep paying it, it goes away. The taxes, however, never end, and will keep the poor millennials in a hamster cage for the rest of their lives. Now, how hilarious is that?
What makes for great comedy? There’s always that nugget of truth in a good joke. This act isn’t funny, and it’s not going anywhere.