Sunday, February 13, 2011

"If I ever stop laughing, I'm dead"

I love laughing. And I do it a lot (some of you who know me might have noticed). Hence, I love and I need comedy! It's one of my great passions in life. So that's what I want to tell you about in this blog post.

Mahatma Gandhi once said "If I had no sense of humour, I would long ago have committed suicide". Quite a gloomy thing to say about comedy, I know, but I totally see where he's coming from. One of my favourite comedians, Russell Brand, says that comedy and laughter is ultimately a distraction from our knowledge of the inevitability of death. In other words, we all know we're going to die some day, and this thought is forever present somewhere in our subconsciousness, making us ever nervous, frightened, pessimistic, dismal and downright sad - had it not been for comedy! (It all sounds very psychoanalytic and Freudian, but somehow still compelling, no? The previous blog post will tell you I am a sucker for pseudo-philosophy/psychology).

So we distract ourselves from the sad things in life with laughter and comedy. Think about it. When you laugh, when you truly laugh so hard that you're crying and your stomach hurts, you never think  "Oh no, I've got work in the morning. Oh no, it's raining again. Oh no, I need to pick up milk on the way home. Oh no, I'm inevitably going to die." Everything that exists in that moment is the euphoric and joyous feeling of laughter. And it's the loveliest feeling in the world!

SO let me show you some of the people that provides a constant source of laughter (and distraction from death) for me. I'm well aware of that humour is a subjective thing, so some of you might not find it funny at all. But all I ask is that you give it a go.

Russell Brand is definitively my favourite comedian. I adore this man. He released me from my self-applied shackles of trying to be like Liam/Noel Gallagher when playing in a band in Oslo a few years ago (Just realised that such a sentence deserves some elaboration. It might serve as content for a future blog post). In other words, he made me realise I am actually someone who wears spray-on tight jeans, speaks with a loud and often high-pitched voice, and desperately seeks attention. When I tell people about Russell Brand I always recommend they watch his first DVD. Have a gander, why don't ya:

"In relevant news..." Mr. Brand will soon be on the big silver screen again with a remake of the Dudley Moore classic "Arthur" - a movie I love and thoroughly recommend. Russell Brand, after acquiring superstar status on the British isles, travelled to Hollywood to attempt to break America. As a fan of his stand-up I have been rather sceptical and not that convinced by his Hollywood movies, but Arthur actually looks really promising. Watch the trailer, it is full of Russell Brand-esque wit and hilarities. I'm really looking forward to this movie.

As an ending I would like to recommend someone who has been around in the British media for a long time, but just recently attempted stand-up. Many of you might know Simon Amstell from the pop quiz show "Never  Mind The Buzzcocks" on which he served as a preposterously cruel and acerbic (yet, in my opinion ingeniously funny) host. In his stand-up, though, he shows a completely different and honest side of himself. It is quite touching to watch someone set himself up as so vulnerable and yet manage to make it funny. And not only is it funny; I've never learned so much wisdom from a stand-up show. I urge you to watch it and be amazed. Here is a taste:

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