Who won’t recognize this by now classic image? Homer has fallen down the Springfield gorge after accidentally trying to jump it. Not only does he survive his fall. Bandaged head to toe, he is placed in an ambulance and is about to be taken to the hospital when the ambulance hits a tree and Homer goes shooting out the back and falls down the cliff again.
Maybe fewer would recognize Stella, the absurdist comedy troupe consisting of Michael Ian Black, David Wain and Michael Showalter. (Thanks for the intro, Tom.)
In the absolutely perfect opening episode of their unjustly cancelled eponymous series, the trio purposefully crash their car twice and both times walk away from the wreckage unscratched and unfazed. In between the two car crashes they are kicked out of their apartment and are thrown out onto the streets, at one point living on nothing but a single bean split three ways.
The idea of immortality is evoked by the indestructibility of the comic character. It’s as if the comic character has exhausted her capacity to die, as if, no matter what, she can no longer not live.
It might be argued that CYE is not the kind of comedy that asserts the indestructibility of its central character. But don’t forget the great conclusion of the fifth season, where Larry dies and goes to heaven, only to be sent promptly back to earth…