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"LOL" and the evolution of Italian mainstream comedy

We watched the new Fedez-hosted show PrimeVideo

LOL and the evolution of Italian mainstream comedy We watched the new Fedez-hosted show PrimeVideo

Watching LOL, PrimeVideo's new reality/game show hosted by Fedez in which the 10 best Italian comedians compete for those who laugh last, there are a few references that come to mind: the first is certainly Justice League, for the sense of "elite forces" that is felt in seeing all the champions of Italian comedy in a single line-up; the second is The Hateful Eight, for the format of the large group of people locked in a single environment for six hours; the third is X-Factor, both for the presence of Fedez, Mara Maionchi and Frank Matano on the show, and for that (positive) sense of national-popular wholesomeness that is felt in following the show. Let's face it: despite having the external canons of the so-called "commercial operation", LOL is a successful product. It's been since Mai Dire... and Zelig who did not see together many comic talents sitting in the same room and, more importantly, it is perhaps the first time ever that all italian comedy is represented: from the television one of Caterina Guzzanti, Frank Matano and Pasquale "Lillo" Petrolo, to the viral and online one of Michela Giraud and the Jacakal up to stand-up comedians such as Luca Ravenna and Katia Follesa. It is no coincidence, as was said above, that one has the impression to see a real Justice League of comedy.

Let's get to the question that interests everyone: is the program funny? The answer is yes – but with one reservation. There are moments of pure absurdity and madness that make you objectively laugh (did you know that after Michela Giraud's Mignottone Pazzo number the sales of ukulele have increased in Italy?) but already in the third episode you perceive a little tiredness – a defect that is however only noticeable if you binge watching and watch the episodes all in a row..

Some of the more stingy critics even speak of too much complacency on the part of the comedians, which is not too true, but the factor that no one has taken into account is another: the sheer quality of the program. Perhaps for the first time in ten years, in fact, you see a reality/game show without quarrels, idiotic debates or trash and vulgar content (we are all looking at you, Ciao Darwin) in which artists who are objectively good and talented (although with different fields of excellence) act themselves for themselves with the comic vis of consummate professionals. Of course not everyone will laugh at everything, it still remains a generalist program and the dead moments are not lacking - but it is the kind of generalist program capable of bringing people together in front of the television as well as generating a quantity of online memes that rivals those created for Sanremo. 

With its eclectic reunion of the peninsula's best comic talents, LOL has the not insignificant merit of proposing a comedy format finally different from the very old Zelig-style stand-up comedy. Given that the best Italian comedy model of the last twenty years has ever been Mai Dire... with his parade of talents (Fabio DeLuigi, Paola Cortellesi, Lucia Ocone but also Aldo, Giovanni and Giacomo and Caterina Guzzanti herself), his mixture of satire, dementedness and meta-humor on the Mediaset programs themselves, the most popular step made by LOL is to bring viral phenomena of the web such as Michela Giraud or The Jackal into the television-generalist field, both of which have become very popular recently with participations in tv commercials and so on, combining them for example with Boris's Caterina Guzzanti, Stefano "Elio" Belisari and even old glories such as Zelig's Katia Follesa, and Colorado's Pintus. Bringing together television faces, actors, comedians and web phenomena under one roof is an operation that in Italy is unprecedented, which in any case requires a critical and really conscious eye on the pop culture of our country together with the consideration of a worldwide and international audience much wider than the geriatric audience that still laughs in front of the endlessly recycled videos of Paperissima when he hears two little animals say they want to be "close neighbors".