The Amanda Show … Amanda Bynes Isn’t Crazy … Just Brilliant

Amanda Bynes is not crazy

Let’s talk about Amanda Bynes.

You’re not going to get schadenfreude Amanda Bynes coverage from me. I grew up thinking this kid was the coolest comic performer on TV since Carol Burnett.

You can love Lucy. I love Amanda.

I see two possibilities … my head says, “Precious, wonderful, brilliant Amanda manda manda manda is struggling will life and career options.” If my head is right, we need to love her and support her. She deserves it.

No one has the comedy chops that Amanda has without being very smart. Because I believe that, my heart says, “Amanda Bynes is doing the most amazing performance art in the history of the Internet.”

I watched The Amanda Show as a kid who grew up watching and loving Johnny Carson, David Letterman, and Arsenio Hall hosted the best talk shows so far.

The work that Amanda Bynes did on The Amanda Show was as good as anything Johnny, David, and Arsenio did as show hosts and it was as good as anything John Belushi, Dana Carvy, Eddie Murphy, or Will Farrell did playing characters on SNL.

I remember watching The Amanda Show and looking forward to watching that girl entertain me with comedy for the rest of my life. I fantasized about her growing up and joining the cast of Saturday Night Live.

Her career didn’t take the path I hoped it would. She went from the super, fantastic Amanda Show straight to movies that were REALLY fun.

Stuff happened behind the scenes. I don’t know what all happened, but Amanda stopped working in any kind of traditional show biz way.

Amanda is smart. I think she’s Andy Kaufman smart and I don’t think what she’s doing on social media is evidence of a girl falling apart. I think she’s making art, and I think it’s beautiful. I think she’s parodying Britney Spears … who I also love.

Here’s the thing though … I don’t want to be wrong about that. If Amanda is really hurting and needs help, figuring out how to help should be our focus. Everyone, from people who know her and have worked with her to those of us who only know her through what she’s shared with us through as screen should be trying to help. If she’s not making art, we in social media, shouldn’t be doing the schadenfreude thing about her cray cray. We should be loving her and trying to do whatever the hell it takes to help her.

In a new media world, Amanda has so much damn potential. Imagine if she did what iJustine is doing … or Daily Grace?

Amanda Bynes has the potential to be the Lucille Ball or Carol Burnett of this generation. Maybe she doesn’t want that, but … if there is the slightest … itsy bitsy chance that she DOES want that, what can we do to help her? And if she’s doing performance art? When do we get to applaud? And if she’s broken, why aren’t we all doing everything possible to help?

Neal Campbell

Neal Campbell is a writer and artist with a Master’s Degree in Psychology, which may or may not explain why he is a writer and artist. In 2005, he launched and produced GeekBrief.TV, one of the first and most successful video podcasts. Neal writes about technology, pop culture, science, TV, the Internet, and sometimes bacon. He lives on the Internet, and loves his Chihuahua, Zoe, who hasn’t left his lap in eight years.


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