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Loitering for Change

2 min read

http://penguinrandomhouse.ca/hazlitt/feature/unlikely-brilliance-loiter-squad

This article discusses the perceived comedy brilliance contained within the total absurdity of the sketches on the Adult Swim show Loiter Squad. The author is very supportive of the show and even compares it to the comedy brilliance of Richard Pryor and Chappelle's Show. Loiter Squad is a 15-minute show that contains various sketches mashed up between random animations and cut scenes. It was created by the rap group Odd Future, who has a history of pushing the envelope with controversial topics and lyrics contained within their songs. At first glance, the show may look childish and completely pointless, but underlying the oddities presented is true commentary on race relations and racial stereotypes.

The article describes a sketch from the show where two of the main characters act as cops reporting to the scene of a domestic dispute. This dispute ends up being between two inflatable wind-dancers (as seen below). One of the cops then shoots one of the wind dancers and promptly plants a knife utensil on the "body," claiming that the dancer had it on him the whole time. The presence of wind dancers alone makes this scene funny, but you can easily see that there is something more at play, as the characters seem to be commenting on police relations as well as domestic violence.

Comedy here plays an important part in the show because it masks topics that could be very offensive to some viewers. At the same time, the author also talks about the fearlessness of the creators of the show because they create their sketches more for themselves than for an audience. Instead of having to pander to a white viewership like many shows on television right now, they don't care who watches their show.

In a way, I think this show may be avant-garde because the creators are not caught up in making something likeable more so than they are trying to make something that coincides with their sense of humor. While their show is ridiculous, they are breaking down barriers and really getting into the underlinings of race in our culture. Maybe it takes craziness to really talk about the real craziness that warps our own society. However, some of their sketches may be a little too crazy: