'Massachusetts' Reveals A Troubling State of Ylvis' Humor
Published: Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 22:10
Ylvis, the Norwegian pop duo that brought us “What Does the Fox Say?” a few weeks ago is back to capitalize on their recent popularity with the tribute to our humble state of Massachusetts. But goddamn, this Broadway ballad is out of touch. With so many valid criticisms of Massachusetts—the bankrupt transit system, the 2 a.m. curfew on our “nightlife,” the “just-got-my-license” syndrome of our drivers—Ylvis can’t seem to find a realistic direction for their satire, instead vying for a crude line of homophobic humor and simple gags that lack the sophistication of most playground humor. Not to mention, somebody whose home country has towns called “Stjordalshalsen,” “Sandnessjoen,” and “Sogn og Fjordane,” is in no place, figuratively and geographically, to criticize the spelling of “Massachusetts.”
Ylvis also knocks on Massachusett’s reputation as a haven for gay marriage. Fine, it’s comedy, who cares. But it’s the same tired meta-humor seen so often before: “Just because you’re kissing a man doesn’t make you gay.” I thought that kind of joke was Apollo-caliber in middle school, but that was, well, more than a couple years ago. Lame. Try harder next time, Sooerseng’aardennghijiiihk, or whatever your name is.
Bottom line: “What Does the Fox Say?” was a one-off. I can’t blame the group for cashing in on the hit, but I would hold off on The Lonely Island comparisons for now.
If you’re not in the mood for an exhausted line-up of jokes, and would rather some humor at Boston’s expense, check out this promotional music video made by the MBTA (which was financed, of course, by recent fare hikes). Yes, it’s real.