From Where I Sit – Ha Ha Ha

Everyone from Norman Cousins to stand-up comedians understands the benefits of humour. Cousins discovered he could remain pain-free for hours if he watched funny movies. Speakers and consultants have emerged who focus on workplace humour as a way to build teams and reduce stress.

Scientists have studied the physical and mental health benefits of good belly laughs. Since 1995, Dr. Madan Kataria of Mumbai, India, has started 5,000 Laughter Clubs in over 40 countries. Sessions typically last 20 to 30 minutes and combine the rhythmic breathing of yoga with forced laughing.

Anyone who’s ever gone to a comedy club knows first-hand the laugh-?til-you-cry effect. Have you ever laughed so hard and so long that your face aches? Do you try to see something funny or absurd in your life each day? Easier said than done, I know. Thank God for the pros.

I am so grateful for those gifted souls who can make us laugh. The world just lost George Carlin. Not long before his death someone emailed a video of his Modern Man performance. It truly is a thing to behold. The concept, detail, timing, and delivery of this three-and-a-half minute piece are amazing. I couldn’t detect any cue cards or teleprompter. To have a man his age remember the whole piece is damn impressive.

Wish I had his memory. Have you seen his New Rules for 2008? Are you old enough to remember his Hippy Dippy Weatherman routine? He is a treasure lost.

My honey Craig Ferguson announced his 19th-place standing on the Entertainment Weekly list of The 25 Funniest People in America. I love the guy and was thrilled Roy and I could see him at the Winspear in Edmonton a few weeks ago. His warm-up act, Big Daddy Taz from Winnipeg, was hilarious and primed the crowd for the Craigmeister.

Think Steve Smith (of Red Green fame), hosers Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis, lovable John Candy, Jim Carrey, Catherine O?Hara, Luba Goy, Brent Butt, Andrea Martin, Martin Short?in fact, any of the old SCTV alumni.

Does Canada have more comedians per capita than the average country? We are blessed. A hundred years ago Roy and I saw the Second City comedy troupe in Edmonton. We’ve also been to Yuk Yuks a few times, and we saw Bill Cosby in Vegas in 1977 (though I didn’t really appreciate his style. Sorry.)

Whether It’s improv, stand-up, live, taped, Seinfeldian, frenetic à la Robin Williams, ethnic comics, female, young, or old, I admire the talent and chutzpah of the performers. I also don’t want to be anywhere near the front row at a live performance.

I just wish I had a better memory for jokes so I could enjoy them over and over again. Whatever?there are more jokes where those came from and more funny people emerging every day. I just don’t count Conan among them.

Dear reader, laugh anywhere, anytime, every chance you get. It makes life worth living and It’s good for you too, from where I sit.

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