On the best nights as a kid, I would watch Saturday Night Live with my dad. Eddie Murphy playing “Buckwheat” was the funniest thing I had ever seen. I was blown away when Buckwheat was literally blown away & they killed him off in such a funny, funny way on the show. News reports throughout the show: “Buckwheat is dead!”
I just looked it up, and this episode aired in 1983, making me about 5 years old when I witnessed this episode. Wow, Dad, I guess you thought I was mature for my age. You young parents out there and your kids are watching the Disney Channel!! You’re missing out! Comedy was infused in my life at a young age, and I’ve discovered it to be the best answer to any challenges life brings my way.
Stand up is my favorite, and I’m not talking about open mic where your friend is performing. I’m talking Carlin, Seinfeld, Cosby, Chris Rock, Eddie Murphy, Wanda Sykes, Kathy Griffin, Joan Rivers, Chappelle, Steve Martin, Louie CK, Gervais, etc. I love a well thought out HBO stand up special. I think it is the hardest art form out there–just go stand on a stage and be funny! You don’t need writers, special effects, a plot, other actors, sequined dance numbers. Just YOU. And your observations. Which are hilarious.
My dad didn’t stop my comedy school at the age of 5, he kept it going throughout. He gave me his Carlin tapes, and I listened to them while I ran. I RAN WITH A TAPE PLAYER WALKMAN. That seems so ancient!!! Just this past summer, when Robin Williams was suddenly gone from our lives–my dad (we were on an out of town trip at the time) handed me two of his Robin Williams stand up CDs. My dad travels with his comedy, folks! He’s amazing. Also, he still listens to CDs.
The best thing on the internet these days is Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. It’s my dream come true= comedians hanging out with comedians. I encourage you to check it out if you haven’t already. I’ve had the chance in the past few years to see Seinfeld twice in Vegas, and each time I left HURTING from the laughter. Same thing with Ricky Gervais in L.A. If I only spent my money going to see these kind of shows when I was younger instead of dozens of Counting Crows concerts.
Once I sat down to a yellow legal pad of paper, thinking, “I’m going to be a stand up comedian.” And then I just sat there for about 15 minutes without one thought other than something totally generic like, “Don’t you hate it when…” I tried to squeeze a joke out of me, but there was nothing there. My nephew has more jokes ready to deliver than I ever will. I always forget the punch line. Or the set up. Usually both. Nope, I just love the laughing part.
I do spend my half hour lunches at work (I STILL ONLY HAVE A HALF HOUR LUNCH!!! Chris Rock does a great bit on this!) trying to laugh and make people laugh at the lunchroom table. “You’re funny” is about the only compliment I’ll ever take seriously. One camp counselor at work this summer said, “You’re a mix of Tina Fey & Jennifer Aniston.” I almost fell out of my chair with appreciation for this young girl. You get me, you really get me! I’m not sure why no one has made this connection before!??! It’s so obvious!
I’m so happy I was a 5yr old enjoying my Saturday nights with my dad and Eddie Murphy. As I grow older, I just get annoyed when people take things so seriously. I think, “Do they realize this is the one shot we get at this life? Are we really going to spend it like this?” And I say thank you thank you thank you to being surrounded by my funny friends and family, where true bliss is making me laugh til I cry.