May 2, 2006

Column: The Funny Thing Is...

by Aaron Bennett

I’m not going to lie – this is a difficult article to write.  It is supposed to be my swan song, or for those non-literary types, my farewell column.  If anyone has ever seen a season finale to a popular show, you know the last one is where all the pressure rides.  In recent years there have been some triumphs and some failures in this department.  For example, let’s all remember Seinfeld. 

The most anticipated series finale of the decade.  Every guest star made themselves available for this show, creating swirling hype that reached near-hysteria.  Then….they all wound up in jail.  Really?  Jail??  I invested 11 years of my adolescent Thursday nights to see the quirky lunatics end up in jail.  Oh well, there’s always syndication.  Then, there is the finale to FRIENDS.  I’d rate it a modest success.  Sure, Ross ended up with Rachel, but by that point, did ANYONE care?  And come on, what about Joey and Phoebe? 

However, (and getting to the point of this tirade) I believe the best finales are the ones that recall the best elements of the program, while gently adding fresh perspective.  In my final article (fingers crossed), I’ll attempt to do just that.

Oh, the 90s.  How I loved that edition (it will probably go down in the history books).  But in my constant re-reading of my own work, I realized I left something out to love and miss about this decade.  Does this ring any bells:  “It’s Friday night, and moon is bright.  Blah, blah,  blah, blah, let’s have some fun – T. G. I. F.”  Oh how I miss Urkel, and Corey, and Shawn, and…Balkie?  TV was fun back then.

The parking ticket issue?  Eh, eh?  Remember that one?  I can’t say that I regret registering my car.  It has removed a certain amount of mystery, drama, and intrigue from my personal life.  I finally got the bill for all of my tickets.  I think it was in the $200 range.  A mere $200 for free parking, breathless excitement, and a real sense of rebel-inspired adventure.  Was it worth it?  Well…. It doesn’t matter now.

My final advice about going to the gym – give up the gym with all the big guys.  It will only depress you.  You will never be them.  Find an off-campus friend (in my case, the legendary Justin Oliver) whose apartment complex facilities have free-weights, a decent cable machine, and most importantly…. gigantic televisions.  Life will be sweeter and the little bumps on your arms will finally be able to swell in peace.

In other Star Wars news:  Michael Miller, assistant to Dwayne Carson, is Han Solo (now you know I’m getting sentimental), Ergun Caner is Chewbacca (idea submitted by Matt Berman), and as far as the fair princess – well, I’m afraid that’s just my own business, now isn’t it.

Now for the sentimental credits.  I’m graduating in a matter of days, and for some reason, my college freshman brother is the one going on a multi-hundred-dollar cruise to .  That’s cool – I’m not bitter. But I digress. I’ve still got the Junior/Senior banquet that I attended with my frequent co-star, Andrea Grillo.  That’s good enough for me.

Well, there you have it.  I made it through an entire semester of this column – the laughs and heartaches, the ups and downs.  And guess what?  We made it through without a single tag-line.  And that’s What The Funny Thing Is.


Contact Aaron Bennett at

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