Oh Happy Day- Cover - by Gerrit Losch feat. Pissed Samuel Herd
Hi guys, I haven't posted here for a couple of months but I'm back now.
I don't know if you have already watched the JW Broadcasting of December (it actually was the first of three parts of the annual meeting), but there was two things that called my attention.
The most conspicuous one was Gerrit Losch starting his talk singing in the song's familiar melody "oh happy day...".
Well, is this a big deal? thats my question. I mean because here in Brazil there's a huge ban in any religious content that doesn't come from the GB, and that includes songs, of course. Thus, it doesn't matter how beautiful or touching a gospel song is, you will never see a Brazilian JW singing (not for real, in front of others) or even lesser quoting it. I believe this song Oh Happy Day is a "religious" song, right? (When Jeeesus Washed..) So, I got really shocked when I saw him singing this phrase (one may say he didn't sing anything but at least it was a obvious reference). Until then, it was unthinkable for me to see an elder make a link to any famous religious song in a public talk, then I saw the GB member do it 'in front of the world'.
My question is: Is it a taboo in the US too, to the point to hardcore JW get bothered when seeing this?
To be honest, I actually liked that.
The second point was: Samuel Herd was the "president"( I don't know how you call the guy who introduces the talks, here we call president) of the meeting. So, there was plenty of moments that he said things and the audience laughed a lot. I understood that they were jokes. What's the matter? Well, everybody laughed but him. Here kept his solid face all the time. I couldn't help to think he could not be joking at all. He could be just saying things for real and the audience was laughing because if they took it actually there would be tension.
The first "joke-or-is-it" case was when he first said that the students had many good teachers in the course, and mentioned some of them. Then he said something about ones that wasn't so good as the teachers and mentioned himself. Everybody laughed, he didn't. My first impression was that he was making a public complain for the GB not to have assigned him to be a teacher in the course.
The second case, that reinforced my impressions was: He was introducing (or was it in the end? anyway...) Gerrit Losch and said something like "Brother Losch is the oldest member of the GB". Allright, but then he adds this "He's the oldest because he has more time in the GB, not because of his age. The oldest member actually is me." Again, laughs from everywhere but his mouth. For me it was pretty clear that it was added by him. The script only told him to say that GL was the oldest, the rest was himself talking. Joining this two points and all the other "jokes" I believe that he was actually PISSED with something in the GB, maybe because they aren't giving him much publicy, and he (as an IMPERFECT human being) believes he deserves more recognition. If it is true, well, finally all the "publicity" they are gathering is paying off (In what other way would we get to know this issues if they didn't put this on the internet?)
What do you think guys? Did you watch the JW BR of December? It's strange to say it here, but, I recommend. This month is hilarious.
Humour is different in different cultures. What is funny in England may not translate to funny in the US or Brazil or wherever.
At a previous meeting Herd followed Jackson who had given a particul;arly enthusiastic talk. Herd said "I used to give talks like that. When I was young" Once again dead pan no smile.
You are not supposed to laugh at your own jokes to be funny. humour is serious business, a teaching tool.
Herd has a "schtick", a gimmick.
He uses self-deprecating humor delivered in a deadpan (no smile) manner.
He imagines himself hi-lar-i-ous.
He is moderately amusing in small doses, but he is not nearly as entertaining as he imagines himself to be.
I think Herd was being “deadpan” - a word that describes making a joke but with a serious tone and facial expression. It is perhaps a cultural thing in which someone makes self-mocking comments that cause others to laugh but he remains unsmiling.
Cultural differences in telling jokes can be subtle so that others outside the culture don’t get it. I’d say this explains your reaction.
Agree, it is his personality. Very dry sense of humor but I think he was just trying to be funny.
Your point about singing "Oh Happy Day!" is right on. That would have been seriously taboo back when it was popular. According to Wikipedia: "Therecording was made at Hawkin's church, the Ephesian Church of God in Christ in Berkeley, California.["
Sam Herd just loves to " deadpan" his jokes...it's actually pretty common in our culture.
But singing, or saying " oh happy day" would have been tantamount to apostasy when I was in. A shame, mind you, I always rue the fact we lost out on so much beautiful, particularly religious, music. All because Rutherford wanted to be different, our children loose out on their musical heritage. It makes me so angry, and sad.
A couple of years back Herd was GB VIP for the DC (that's got a ring to it) at Twickers in London. A family member told me that "everyone loved his dry humor".
So I think that's become his trademark.