So while reading for Tuesday’s class, all of the movie references I found were pretty inaccessible for me, (partly because I haven’t seen any of the movies they were trying to reference, and didn’t have any videos for me to look at while trying to read their breakdown) so I thought I would try to do a mini-breakdown-scene analysis of one of my favorite comedians: Mr. Jim Gaffigan. This clips is about one of his most famous bits: his commentary on hot pockets. Please enjoy.

Shot # Shot Type Dialogue
1 medium “feeling slow”
2 pan out applause
3 medium “white trash”
4 close audience laughing
5 close “i’ve never eaten…”
6 closer “i’ve paid for that!”
7 medium “my back hurts”
8 close “ow”
9 closer “hot pocket!”
10 far audience laughing while saying hot pocket
11 close audience applauding
12 far see all of the audience and the stage
13 medium “i like nascar”
14 close “never see that going to dinner”
15 close audience laughter after ceasar salad
16 close his waiter impression
17 close cut to the hypothetical orderer
18 medium waiter again – “it’s frozen”
19 close waiter “boiling lava hot”
20 close audience laughter
21 close “burn my mouth”
22 close “it’ll destroy your mouth”
23 far “everything will taste like rubber”
24 close “i’ll have the hot pocket”
25 far -> close “hot pocket!”
26 medium “haven’t been around”
27 close “i got an idea!”
28 closer “cook it in a nasty sleeve”
29 far laughter to toilet
30 close veggie hot pocket
31 closer “still want diarrhea”
32 medium “roll of toilet paper”
33 close “dignified way of buying”
34 close “stick it in your cart”
35 medium “hot pocket!”
36 medium “lean pocket”
37 close “take out of box”
38 medium puts it in the toilet
39 close -> far response to flush pocket
40 close “pocket pocket pocket”
41 far “introduced the breakfast hot pocket”
42 close “finally!”
43 closer “can’t think of a better way to start the day”
44 medium “hot pocket”
45 close audience applauding
46 medium -> far audience applauding
47 close “hot pocket for breakfast”
48 medium “do love that jingle”
49 medium “what do you got so far bill?”
50 close “hot pocket?”
51 medium “that’s good”
52 close audience laughing
53 medium “now what can we run in mexico?”
54 close “caliente pocket?”
55 medium “you’ve got a gift my friend”
56 close “hot pocket”
57 far “commercial for”
58 close “now they’re just messing with us”
59 closer “he went crazy up there”

So here’s a couple of thoughts to start a discussion. I think it is very interesting that when there’s a cut to the audience, it is either to show people directly laughing, or to show the enormity of laughter and applause. I guess it is used as a means to show how good Gaffigan is at standup. It also helps me see when and how people are laughing at the jokes. Also, it is interesting that when Gaffigan assumes different personas during his standup, there is a rapid series of cuts, which I guess is used to serve as a “transporting” of Gaffigan to his other personas so the people at home can follow along with whom he is supposed to be. I also thought it was interesting that the “normal” perspective is to show Gaffigan at normal eye level, to show him as right in front of the people at home, which is used to help us not only see him (which may be hard for some at the show), but to also see the nuances in his body language to get his jokes better.

I didn’t end up realizing how many different shots there were in a simple standup routine. It’s amazing! What did you notice?

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