Standup Comedy is like life: It can be great and then sometimes, not so much.
At a recent show, as the emcee introduced me and I got on stage, the audience applauded except for the table of people immediately to my left. They just sat and stared, sans smiles. We’ll call this red flag number one. (Spoiler alert: You never need more than one flag. One is enough.)
This is a picture of the universe behind my eyelids: my optic nerve.
I was born with a weak eye muscle. That’s a nice way of saying I had a lazy eye. It’s a really nice way of saying I was born cross-eyed.
When I was two-years-old I had eye surgery. I was due for a subsequent procedure but it held the risk of me going blind. I’m guessing my parents weren’t ready for a Black Helen Keller.
Laughter is one of the most honest things humans do. It’s pure and primal. And yes, sometimes it comes from a low and mean place but it’s also an expression of surprise, delight, and joy. I like to think that laughter cleanses the mental and emotional palate; putting our problems on pause. It’s not quite accurate to say that laughter lightens the load. Sometimes the best it can do is give you time to adjust how you’re carrying it.
Yes, I’d love to see you in the audience at one of my comedy shows, and I definitely think one of my humor books would look great in your bathroom. But truthfully, there are many ways you can and should put laughter into your life. Sad times will find you, so we have to be proactive about hunting down our happy. Luckily, I’m not hard to find.
My doctor presented me with two apples. She said they were fresh, homegrown in her garden, and pesticide free. And I said to her, “But doesn’t the pesticide make them taste better?” She blinked a few times, not knowing how to respond. Then she cracked a smile with an, “Oh you!” twinkle in her eyes and said, “I forgot you’re a comedian.” I should have charged her a co-pay.