So let’s get one thing perfectly clear: I’m funny. Like, really, really funny. That doesn’t mean everyone finds me funny…but not everyone thought slavery was a bad idea, either. People are always entitled to their opinions — especially when those opinions are wrong. However, I’d like to take a few un-funny minutes to explain in all seriousness why I choose to be funny, and how it’s just as important as people who are smart, strong, or good looking (I’m all of these things, too, but we’re just gonna focus on the funny aspect for today).
The largest misconception is that I’m funny solely because I have this insatiable want/need for attention, and this is not entirely true. It’s not entirely untrue, and it’s definitely A reason why I enjoy being enjoyable, but it’s not THE reason. Probably the largest and most important reason is that I like to help people, I like to fix problems, and I like to make those around me happier. I rarely have the time, energy, or desire required to do all of these things for everyone I know and/or meet, but causing people to laugh (even at my own expense) is a simple way to accomplish a light version of these three things when one doesn’t have the resources to learn the life story and empathize with every single person they meet. The simple psychology of laughter is this: when you’re laughing, you’re only focused on the moment — on the feeling — and the other problems either shrink or disappear entirely for a few brief moments. Bills, taxes, relationships, the opposite sex — all of the things you choose to stress about are put on hold while you’re chortling about how skinny I am (seriously I’m pretty skinny, you guys).
A second reason is that laughter is positivity incarnate. If you have a room full of people who are laughing and joking with one another over a shared bond of hilarity, it’s difficult to sully that mood or bring the group back down. Anyone who’s ever been in a meeting of any sort can tell you that when you’re trying to accomplish anything, a positive group mentality is always going to yield better results than a negative one. And the best part is, all that’s required to participate is the willingness to laugh along with everyone else.
Don’t misunderstand two very important facets to all of this, though. Firstly: playful joking (no matter how hilarious) doesn’t replace a deep, intimate relationship with another person, and it isn’t going to be enough to solve your or your friends’ problems in the same way. Secondably, I absolutely enjoy being the center of attention and the generally positive response I get from being the “funny” guy (often translated as the obnoxious guy), but I’m just pointing out that it’s neither the sole nor the primary reason I do it.
Thirty second life update: we’re playing a show in Birmingham, Alabama today. I have a love/hate relationship with the dirty south — I love the kind of crazy people you can only find down here, but I hate most everything else. Expect an essay about how everything in life can be explained by starting all your sentences with “it’s near the Wal-Mart.”
Until I have the time and internet to improve your life some more,