Laughter is a beautiful expression. It’s pretty addicting if you ask me. I’d rather have a twelve-pack of good jokes and laughter than a keg of the best beer this world has to offer. Yet, we have been socialized to laugh and joke at appropriate times and settings. Some cannot fathom the idea of joking in a moment of despair. However, if I were to confine my laughter to the “appropriate” time and setting, my life would be filled with despair. That’s the beautiful thing about humor, because it’s subjective, what is funny to one person can be offensive to another. I won’t go into why a joke can be offensive because that’s a whole thesis in itself and I deliberately keep my blog posts short for a reason.
I strongly believe stand up comedy is one of the most powerful tools and venues to educate, heal, incite, and make people ponder about ideas and things beyond themselves. You don’t need a joke to do that, but using a joke as an instrument can make that experience (and the actual content of the joke) unforgettable. There are comedians that provide humor for the sake of humor itself. At the basic level, that is very much appreciated especially after a long day filled with stress. However, when a comedian can craft and write a perfectly funny joke that cause his/her audience members to think, understand something at a deeper level, or challenge their views (for good reasons) of any given topic is what I look for in a comedian. Don’t just show me the funny, show me the smart funny.
For those comedians that chose to pursue stand up as a career, as a fellow fan I challenge you to challenge my thinking with your jokes. I dare you to bring me into your world where hot feels cold, where pain feels real good, where rainbows have neon colors and where dead puppies are still cute. At the end of the day laughter is great, but intent and purpose is what I’m learning to value the most.