“Laughter is the tonic, the relief, the surcease for pain. A day without laughter is a day wasted” – Charlie Chaplain. When President Ronald Reagan (Not a Democrat) was shot and being rushed into the emergency room, he was surrounded by a team of physicians. He looked at the doctors and said, “Please tell me you’re all Republicans.”
Some years back I saw the incredibly talented comedian, actor, and producer Jerry Lewis. He was performing at Ruth Eckerd Hall, a theater in Florida, and I had V.I.P. tickets. I got to chat with him and a photo taken with him at an after-concert meet and greet. It was a great night and a special moment to see him up close having grown up with this legend. Just before the photo was taken I imitated him and his voice and mannerisms from back in the old days when he worked with Dean Martin by mocking Jerry’s voice and saying, “Hey Dean, hey Dean, hey Dean.” Now for the younger readers of this blog this may not make a whole lot of sense, but for those people born say around 1960 or so, you folks may get a chuckle out of that; Jerry certainly did!
Jerry pointed at me and laughed and then the photos were taken. It was a fun moment for me, having a few minutes with a comedic legend. I strongly recommend a documentary called “Method to the Madness” on Jerry’s life. The insights to his career in this film are eye-opening and inspiring. A great view for any Jerry fan or for anyone who wants to learn about the life and career of this incredibly gifted and talented man.
So why am I reflecting on comedy? Because it makes us laugh. Why is laughter important? Well, if the goal of life is to be happy, it’s safe to assume that when we are laughing that we must be happy. At least, in that moment, situational happiness is better than none at all, right? So I feel that good comedy is a gift and sort of a blessing as its end result is instant happiness, situational as it may be, it is in fact a moment and state of happiness; kiss a comedian today!
Jerry had a Q&A with the audience and one person asked him what the secret was to his longevity. I mean, he was in his mid- eighties, had some serious health challenges along the way, yet he was on a U.S. tour performing two hour shows, singing, playing instruments, and entertaining us with stories and comedy. Jerry’s response to the question of the secret for living a long life was simply, “Laughter. Comedy.” There is much to be learned from this, and who doesn’t like to laugh?
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