Center Stage

Comedy Club, Auckland NZ 2019 (photo credit: Christian Espinoza)

Earlier this evening I went down to the Comedy Club in support of my friend Hiren. It was a painfully cold and wet Wednesday night, but I borrowed my wife’s expensive umbrella and sat myself down…. right at the front.

I watched twelve fresh faced comedians take that stage fearlessly like a battlefield for seven minutes at a time, and despite the obnoxiously loud table of young women at the front (one of whom could not stop yelling out “it’s my birthday”), it was a really entertaining and funny evening.

It takes a lot to get up onstage and be willing to bomb. To put your best cards on the table and hope that you make it out on top.

I have a love for stand up comedy, and I think if you can make others laugh during your seven minutes then the world is a better place for it.

Are you Funny?

Dave Hopkins, 2012 (photo credit: Christian Espinoza)

I am not funny, I will tell you this much. In fact, the night before my wedding I wrote my speech, with the sole purpose of making it so funny I would have the crowd on the floor laughing. Half way through reading it, people were getting the Kleenex out to wipe the tears from their faces… in sorrow. I had somehow managed to write the most sombre toned speech that night, even the MC (my brother in law with a great sense of humor) was crying.

Being funny is not easy… to someone who is not naturally funny, that is.

In my house my wife is the funny one, I don’t argue this, it’s fact. She can dish out one liners that will have you in hysterics. Her stories are engaging, moving, and above all, filled with laughter. If she ever writes an autobiography she should call it Coping with Humor. So how come we’re not all funny as well?

My observations of naturally funny people are that they have a genuine love to see others laugh, because when they laugh it brings out the best in them and they feel really good as a result. It’s a blend of spontaneity, wit, timing, and empathy. Note, I am not referring to stand up comedy, which is planned, rehearsed, and delivered with fine precision. Same intent though.

Having a sense of humor, knowing what is funny, and being able to harness that is a beautiful gift. It cures the blues, it gives hope, it fills your body up with endorphins that just make you feel great. There is nothing like it. My wife loves to remind me “if you don’t laugh you cry”.

Choose laughter.

Look, I don’t want to wax philosophic, but I will say that if you’re alive you’ve got to flap your arms and legs, you’ve got to jump around a lot, for life is the very opposite of death, and therefore you must at very least think noisy and colorfully, or you’re not alive.

– Mel Brooks