The Hidden Truth

clown_name_b_and_w_sad_clown.jpg

We all know what comedians do, right? They make us laugh. It’s been a universal gift to be able to get a crowd of people choking on their breath and gasping for air. With a world full of laughter, it brings the question: why are almost all comedians depressed? A path of destruction has awaited numerous comedians, including my favorites. From John Belushi’s fatal speedball to Richard Pryor’s infamous suicide attempt, comedians display a side to them that no one in a comedy club wishes to see.

The answer is plain and simple: comedy stems from tragedy. Why do people want to make others laugh? It gives them a sense of joy and pride. Have you ever had a joke nail at a party around a group of people? Remember the sense of happiness it brought you to see everyone around you laughing at what you said? It’s exactly like that. If you’ve experienced that, you also know that the high doesn’t last forever. That’s the sad truth.

Many comedians come from broken homes and grow up in harsh environments. They’ve experienced extreme measures of sadness, therefore, they want to numb any sadness that audiences are having through their jokes. Take for example, a comedy legend like Richard Pryor. I’m not going to go into the extreme details of his life because that’s for another time, but Pryor’s childhood was filled with events that would traumatize any kid forced to experience them. Therefore, he used jokes to block out the memories of his past. This is a character referred to as, The Sad Clown.

When I was young, I learned very quickly that humor gave me attention and happiness. Growing up with a shy personality, an older brother that got all of the attention in the family, and a later diagnosed case of depression, I knew I had to find something to stand out, and it turned out to be comedy. If I could get everyone at the dinner table to laugh, I knew I’d make a lasting impression. I watched countless hours of SNL and I began staying up late and watching Pryor specials and learning how to talk like a comedian, how to learn the language and onstage presence that mesmerized me. School was my area to test out on not just friends, but teachers as well. I found I was interested more in making the teachers laugh than my friends laugh. Teachers were out of my range, they were older, but I knew the culture that they knew, and I used it to my advantage. It gave me happiness, unlike anything had ever given me. The thing I noticed afterwards was exactly what I described earlier, the high was temporary. So much so that I would spend a day at school making my classmates laugh, then the rest of the night I’d be huddled in my room as soon as I got home.

While I know some readers may not be happy with me sharing my opinion, my say is my say. My opinion will never change, comedy stems from tragedy and you can look at any comic living or dead and find tragedy in their lives. Comedy has a hidden truth to it, and it’s one that I and many others can relate to. Laughter distracts from pain, and as long as we’re making others feel happiness, the truth remains hidden.

 

Picture Credit: http://www.theblackguywhotips.com/2018/01/07/1591-spanking-the-sad-clown/

Article: https://www.cnn.com/2017/03/01/health/sad-clown-standup-comedy-mental-health/index.html

Advertisements

Welcome, Everyone.

Introductions are always very bland. Let’s get the basics out of the way. My name is Reilly, I’m twenty years old, and one of my passions is comedy, and that’s what this page is going to focus on. Another thing to get out of the way:

Favorite Comedians:

 

Bill Hicks

George Carlin

Richard Pryor

Robin Williams

Chris Farley

I’m not just going to write posts on my favorite comedians and their lives, but more specifically the connection comedy has with depression and the changes in sensitivity over the years. Comedy has been important to me since I can remember. The day my aunt gifted my six year old brother and my three year old self with a VHS of Tommy Boy was the first memory I have of falling for comedy. From that point on, it was finding more and more comedians’ specials, watching abundances of old  Saturday Night Live episodes, finding classic comedies that I was told I had to watch, really anything to feed into my obsession.

I chose the detailed topic because I’m very familiar and fascinated with the patterns that a comedian can fall into as well as the outrage that people can cause based on a joke gone wrong. I’ve noticed both consistency and change in a short amount of time. Sensitivity in comedy has changed immensely in the past decade, and that’s one of the things I’m going to focus on through my posts. The world of comedy is one that mirrors trauma and sadness, and I hope to help inform the readers, even just one, on the connections comedy contains, especially the dark ones.  I’m hoping to interact with other comedy and comedian lovers through this publication, as anytime I bring up Bill Hicks to anyone, I get a blank stare and a noticeable question mark on their faces. I’m hoping you all find something worth reading and find interest in what I have to write about.