While reading Sontag’s Notes on Camp, I tried to make the connection between 1960s’ camp and today’s camp. So, I stumbled upon the Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, a sketch comedy on Adult Swim. Tim and Ericis a comedic duo parodying certain mannerisms and attitudes.
Sontag argues that camp is a “certain mode of aestheticism”favouring style over content. In the clip above, it is the idea of the artificethat is emphasized. The video mocks the advertising business and makes use of original editing techniques that resemble art nouveau style. On the one hand, editing compromises the filmic space of the moving image in that as the background picture remains the same, the actors are constantly being cut into the frame. Special effects also legitimize the visual of exaggeration that Sontag refers to. On the other hand, the parody of the comic sketch creates a comedic narrative based on the exaggeration as well of how advertising competition functions.
On the second clip of the same playlist under the name Carol’s Boss Problems, Sontag’s theory of camp as an epicene stylesurfaces. Sontag argues that “the androgyne is one of the images of camp sensibility”and is “a relish of the exaggeration of sexual characteristics and personality mannerisms.”In this example, a man is dressed as a woman secretary who gets assaulted by her boss for being fat. The episode ridicules the effect of that assault on the woman in a very graphic and aesthetically unusual way.
I would argue that this type of comedy can be considered camp because it seems unintentional and apolitical; because it is bizarre and yet funny.
Susan Sontag, “Notes on Camp”, in Against Interpretation and other essays, (London, Penguin Classics, 2009), 277