Originally Posted 12-1-10…

It never occurred to me that you could actually study comedy. Correction: It never occurred to me that I could actually study comedy. I was raised in a household where you grew up to be an accountant or an IBM’er, not an artist and certainly not a comedian (although with five kids in the house there were definitely a few comedians). Even so, comedy has always been a part of my life. I listened to Bill Cosby as a kid (snakes!), watched The Carol Burnett Show, Fat Albert, and I Love Lucy with my family. I absorbed The Muppet Show, Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Welcome Back Kotter, Good Times, The Facts of Life, The Jeffersons, Three’s Company, MASH, Sanford and Son, Different Strokes (beginning to wonder how I had time for anything else), Mork and Mindy, WKRP in Cincinnati, etc. I sneaked in to watch SNL and movies like Stripes and Caddyshack with my older siblings. I crowded around a cassette tape with fellow summer campers and memorized Eddie Murphy’s “Delirious.” I saw Ellen DeGeneres perform in Raleigh in the 80’s, and Jamie Foxx doing stand-up at UGA during his In Living Color years (Mildred get down!) So many comedians…Steven Wright, Sam Kinison, Gilda Radner, Richard Pryor, Steve Martin, Jane Curtain, Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Lily Tomlin, Robin Williams, Janeane Garofalo, Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, Kathy Griffin, Dave Chappelle, Chelsea Handler, Jim Gaffigan…the list is endless. They have all made an impression on me at some point in my life. Still, the closest I came to pursuing comedy myself was watching “Friends” in my 20’s and talking about how it would be cool to write sitcoms { much like dudes talk about playing professional golf or baseball. }

I’ve always daydreamed about doing stand-up, didn’t everyone? I have a stand-up narration constantly streaming in my head. I thought this was normal. Still, it took getting to a place in my life where my knees rebelled against my extra-curricular world of ultimate frisbee & snowboarding (no that’s not a punchline) before it occurred to me that I could or should actually pursue comedy. For the first time since I was a kid I had the time to nurture my creative side. But…a comedian? Say what? It was outlandish. Unrealistic. Unattainable. I’ve always put comedians on a pedestal. Craig Robinson said it best on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” when describing how his career started. He said, “I didn’t realize that real people did comedy until I went to a talent show…a couple people I knew got up and did it. And it blew my mind that you could actually touch somebody that did comedy. I don’t know how to explain it; you know it was like they were superheroes or something. So when I saw that, it was like, “Wow, I could actually make a go of this.” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CB7-gOb0wAM check out minute 5:00) I 100% relate to what Craig says. I can’t imagine a better endeavor in life than trying to make someone laugh (ok Doctors, Nurses, Teachers, Firemen…yeah, yeah, they’re great too). There are so many heavy things in this world that bring us sadness and stress. We all need laughter to survive. So, I’m in…I’m studying comedy. It is inspiring, agitating in the best way, and it makes me see the world differently. It brings me joy. Regardless of where this journey takes me, I know it’s the right one. In my wildest dreams, you’ll all be along for the ride – watching, participating, and laughing with, or at me!

One thought on “Comedy for Me

  1. yes! that Craig description – exactly what I thought too. becoming a doctor? sure…I mean know people who do, but comedy?! wow tracy, I don’t know if I can keep up with this blog since you seem to post twice a decade. i’ll clear my schedule.

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