As a kid, I loved the movie Mary Poppins. I still do. The scene of Uncle Albert and Bert on the ceiling (played brilliantly by Ed Wynn and Dick Van Dyke, respectively) brings a smile to my face every time I think of it. Imagine the energy of laughter so strong that we literally rise up to the ceiling. Can laughter make us fly, at least figuratively? I think so.
This week ended up as one filled with laughter, some true funny ha-ha laughter, some laughing at dumb luck, and some of the shaking head, “I can’t believe this is happening” variety. None of it literally got me to the ceiling, though on several occasions I doubled over and my face hurt. I consider that a week well-lived.
1.) The Del Close improv marathon. My pal, Amanda, scored us some tix and a rockin’ place in line to see The Colbert Report writers perform. Though they stated clearly that they are writers, no performers, I found them hilarious. (During the days of George Bush, I used The Daily Show and The Colbert Report as my daily dose of news. I chalk it up to survival instinct.) The Del Close Marathon runs this entire weekend with a slew of shows nearly round-the-clock. Check out the schedule and pricing here.
2.) Comedy in marketing. I snapped the photo above outside of The Plant Shed, a store in my neighborhood. According to the sign, customers received a hug with every purchase. True statement? No idea, but it made me laugh. A course in comedy should be required for every marketer. Johanna, one of my yoga teachers, uses comedy in her classes all of the time because when people laugh, they breathe. And we all need to breathe, whether passing by a store, taking a yoga class, or just getting through our daily lives. Yes, sex sells. I would wager that comedy sells more.
3.) Kids say and do the darndest things. My niece, Lorelei, cracks me up on a regular basis. One of her favorite games is to have someone cover her up with a blanket and then wander around saying out loud, “Where’s Lorelei?” Then she jumps up from under the covers and you must pretend that she surprised you. I have no idea why we found this so funny, but we rolled around laughing about it for many hours and the game never got old. Spend more time with kids and you’ll laugh more often.
4.) Phineas and Ferb. I am a great believer in cartoons. I can be found in apartment watching them on a regular basis. I grew up on the Muppets, and I classify smart comedic writing for children that also amuses adults as high art. (I took a comedic writing class at UCB about two years ago. I was awful – I’ve never had to work so hard to write something decent. Out of 8 sketches, only 2 were even passable.) Comedy is hard. Smart comedy is a rare gift. Smart comedy for children that makes adult laugh is rarer still. Thanks to my brother-in-law and niece, Phineas and Ferb are my latest animated obsession. They must have a movie coming out – this kind of comedy cannot stay confined to the small screen. I watch every 20 minute episode laughing out loud. They are two brothers (with a pet platypus named Perry) who dream up crazy day-long stunts to keep themselves occupied and experimenting over summer vacation. They are wicked smart with big hearts. They believe the sky’s the limit. You should too because, well, it is.
That kept me amused all week. I didn’t get to the ceiling, but I’m not ruling it out as a long-term goal. What’s got you giggling lately?