Friday, March 25, 2016

Was It Good For You Too....

"Without comedy as a defense mechanism I wouldn't be able to survive."
                                                                                     Garry Shandling

I've written before about the importance comedy and comedians played in my life - especially as a kid growing up in a semi-fucked up family.  How comedians like Richard Pryor, Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, and Bill Cosby (sorry – back then who knew he was a sexual predator) pushed the limits and changed my perspective about how to handle life’s adversities.  They taught me how to laugh and find humor in any situation; how laughter could make some of those fears and inadequacies disappear.  And as an adult, comedic icons like Robin Williams and Garry Shandling filled those same voids in my life.  Williams was that guy with the acceptable insanity that made you feel comfortable about being different…. Shandling had a different approach.  He was an innovative genius who cracked subtle, self-deprecating jokes that taught me how to laugh at my own insecurities.  And how to use humor to protect myself – learning that if I can make fun of myself, nothing anyone else can say or do will have the power to hurt. Humor –the way Shandling did it – took the sting out of the pain.

You expect comedians like Pryor and Lenny Bruce to flame out – guys who ride an edge sometimes do – but Williams and Shandling were different.  They were a part of my life, the same way the music you listen to as a kid serves as a backdrop for every step you take.

You never expect to say good-bye. And it hurts when you do.....

A couple of clips:

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