Jerry Seinfeld has a really interesting (and seriously entertaining) documentary called Comedian that was brought out in 2002 with mixed reviews. My personal thoughts about the film as a whole were pretty much three thumbs up. It’s like a backstage view of a comedy club. But it also gives you some serious insight into the world’s most well-known comic, Orny Adams. Kidding. That guy sucks. But he does play a major role in the film. I’m talking about Seinfeld. The film has several spots where Jerry really opens up and gives some quotes that really come from deep within his mind. When I first watched the movie, I assumed he was just unique and that he spoke only out of his own experience. But the more I see and experience, the more entertainers I hear, the more I dig into my own psyche, the more I realize that Jerry Seinfeld just voiced the unspoken thoughts of the vast majority of the entertainment/arts community… especially the comedy sect. Here’s what he said and how I’ve seen it…
“Funny people are hiding things. You can’t stay funny as an adult and not have emotional issues of some kind or another. It goes against the way our minds work. That’s why comedians kill themselves or live tortured lives.” When I first heard that, I thought he was crazy. In fact, I laughed, thinking it was actually just some really bizarre joke. But the more I read and experience, the more I think he’s right. In fact, since seeing the film, I’ve heard the same idea come from a psychologist, a pastoral counselor, a nationally known youth speaker, and even my own mother. They all say the same thing, basically… people laugh (or make others laugh) to hide something…. deeper.
Hugh Laurie, (TV’s Gregory House, M.D.), has a quote on his website that rocked me this morning. “I probably use humour to try and avoid getting close to people, in a funny sort of way. Making people laugh is sort of cowardly. It can be an intimate thing, but it also distances you from the person somewhat.” I had a conversation with a friend last week that pretty much had that same conclusion. And it seems that I’ve done the same thing… I say funny things and do funny things and act crazy to keep people laughing, for sure, but on a deeper level, I know that it’s because I want to keep them at an arms’ length. There are people I let in, I know, but those are few and far between. In fact, I have a really cool job right now as a co-host on a morning show. The job is awesome. I sit in a radio studio for 3 hours every morning with my old college roommate and make dumb jokes and drink coffee. But I know that it’s ideal for me because I am separated emotionally from the listening audience.
I’m just now starting to process this whole mess that is my mind and I’m just rambling, but because it’s my blog, I suppose I can do what I want, right? 🙂 Hope you’re well.