Remember third grade? Remember Robbie? Or Danny, or Mikey? It's usually a boy. You know, the class clown. And if he's any good at it, he stays the class clown all the way through high school, and maybe beyond.
Why would this person stick with clowning around when his teachers ARE NOT HAPPY with him and he spends way more time than is healthy in the principal's office? Well, obviously, because we love him, and he loves being loved. We might find him annoying sometimes, but really, we need him and his silliness and his risk-taking to get ourselves to stop taking other things so seriously: arithmetic, the sadness of WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS, our own selves.
We need the release, the perspective, the visceral understanding of how important the joy that comes with laughter is in everyday life. It opens everything else up to us with the literal breath of fresh air we get from the act of laughing.
And then we can get back to our serious tasks with renewed energy.
As we become adults and take on adult responsibilities, silliness is often not only discouraged, but disdained, and our sources for laughter narrow, especially for the powerful belly-laugh type.
Thank goodness for the likes of Jon Stewart, Steven Colbert and others who choose to entertain with intelligent, adult irony and yes, silliness. They are especially necessary when things are very bad in the world. But what about plain old boring every day when the threat of war and disastrous policy-making is not in our faces? Stewart and Colbert still play the class clown, but are they enough?
This post is dedicated to sharing laugh-out-loud sources of humor that we can indulge in to help us enjoy our lives and our work.
Below is my list of favorite authors, movies, tv shows and personal connections that allow me to let go and laugh out loud, but there are never enough! Please, please, please share yours.
Authors: Dave Barry, Janet Evanovich, David Sideris, Carl Hiaasen
Old Movies: The In-Laws (the one with Jack Lemmon), Airplane (Leslie Neilsen), My Fellow Americans (Jack Lemmon, James Garner)
New Movies: can't think of any—oh, jeez! Is it generational??
TV: 30 Rock, The Daily Show, Stephen Colbert, The Big Bang Theory, The Vicar of Dibley, Doc Martin (help! what happened to all the good sit-coms?)
Real Live People: my son; my sister; my friend, Bob
What makes you laugh out loud?