I love comedians.
There’s something special about people whose mission in life is simply making everybody else laugh. They point out the absurdities in life we all encounter; in our home and family, in our working life, in the society we inhabit. They mine the limitless natural resource that is our government. And, of course, they share their own personal stories, of which we each have our own version, allowing us to laugh at ourselves.
They’re here to remind us to not take this life so damned seriously. If we get bogged down in all the stressful situations we constantly wrestle, coupled with our daily recommended dose of end-of-the-world crises on the news, we’d probably all ball up in a corner and cry ourselves to sleep.
We have to be able to laugh at something, just to maintain sanity. And that’s where the comedians come in. They reintroduce us to the simple, often overlooked hilarity of life on this planet. We laugh our heads off and, for a little while, forget about all the pain, all the tedium, all the BS we cohabitate with the rest of the time.
And that’s why laughter is the best medicine.
I got hooked on comedy at an early age. Before I listened to rock and roll, before I listened to country and western music, I was listening to comedy albums.
You readers of a certain age not familiar with the concept of albums, consult your grandparents. And isn’t it amazing vinyl is making a comeback? Everything old is new again, right? What’s next, 8- track tapes? (Again: grandparents.)
Anyway, I digress. When I was about six or seven, my parents gave me a record player for my birthday, and started a record collection for me consisting of some comedy albums and old 45’s. (Jeez, I am so dating myself here!) I was listening to guys like Shelley Berman, Dick Gregory, Brother Dave Gardner, Jonathan Winters, and my all-time favorite, Bill Cosby.
(I don’t care to get into Mr. Cosby’s current situation here, sordid and shameful as it is, which isn’t to say I’m ignoring it. The man still made me laugh more than any human being ever did, and whatever pall these latest headlines undoubtably cast, that will not change for me.)
I listened to those records over and over and over. And over. I memorized every line, every word, every vocal inflection. And whenever I had myself a captive audience, whether friends or family, I would recite these comics’ routines verbatim.
And when I say a captive audience, I mean it. Whether these poor people wanted to hear this stuff or not, I just steamrolled ahead. There was no escape ha HA HA HAAAAAA……
I couldn’t help it. These guys made me laugh so much, I just wanted to share their comedy with everyone else. Plus, I discovered the incredibly addictive rush of making other people laugh, and I’m telling you, there ain’t nuthin’ like it.
And I’ve enjoyed good comedy ever since, from so many talented people. Bob Newhart. Richard Pryor. George Carlin. Joan Rivers. Steve Martin. Stephen Wright. Ellen DeGeneres. Eddie Murphy. Robin Williams. (I so miss that guy.) Steve Harvey. Jeff Foxworthy. Heather McDonald. I could go on and on. A really funny guy out there now is Alonzo Bodden; check him out.
Do yourself a big favor. Block out some time to listen to some inspired comedy by one of these masters, or to anyone who cracks you up, and get yourself a good, hearty dose of laugh! Forget about whatever else is going on in your life right now, just for a little while, and give yourself permission to laugh ’til you cry. You’ve earned it; trust me.
Also, tune your eyes and ears to the comedy going on around you. As a chauffeur, people have got in my car and said the funniest things without even realizing it. You can pick up on it, too, if you pay attention.
Or just throw a pie in someone’s face. (Just kidding!)
Note: I hope you’ve enjoyed this little four-pack I’ve presented as a way of introducing myself. Be assured, though, this blog-a-day pace is going to cease. See you again in a week or so. Thanks for stopping by!