I Laugh, Therefore I Am

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter. ”  (e.e. cummings)

When I was a high school senior, the class voted on a number of male and female “senior superlatives” such as most athletic, most academic, most school spirit, etc. who were then featured in the yearbook.  I was nominated for class clown.

If my entire 12 year history at the school was considered, there was little doubt that I was class clown.  But in my junior and senior years, I had become “serious” and was proud of an emerging image: radical intellectual.

I was now embarrassed by my past.  I did not want to win that election because I believed it undercut my new image.  Class demographics were on my side.  Few classmates had been there more than four to six years because their parents were often on temporary two to four year assignments. In a class of 98, there were only about 20 of us “oldtimers” who had been through the full 12 years of school together.  I got my wish: I was not voted class clown.

But by my thirties, I had a different attitude.  I realized that I’ve always been a clown and that there is no necessary dichotomy between being a clown and being taken seriously.

In all my jobs, I’ve been the office clown.  And I’ve found that the ability to quickly diffuse a delicate situation with a witty comment is very helpful.  That may be why one of my former bosses wrote in an evaluation that when others had failed in a difficult assignment involving people outside the office, I’d be the one to send out to rescue the situation.

One of the key aspects of being a successful clown crosses over to work.  I’m talking about delivery: in any kind of speaking, timing and inflection are critical to audience response.  Delivery is key in humor and it is just as critical in public speaking.  I love that part of my job.

Although there is an organized PowerPoint outline for my audiences, I warn them that I’ll be speaking in a stream of consciousness style from short “talking points” and to disregard what’s on the screen because I won’t be reading it; the printed material is to help them recall the presentation later, not to follow along with.  Audience evaluations say I make difficult, boring topics  (federal regulations) understandable for the first time.

This time of year is a time for merriment.  And with the economy in a downspin, a good belly laugh is especially important.

In that spirit, I offer links to two comedian superlatives:  my favorite male comedian: Filipino-American Rex Navarette, who uses accent as a phonetic double entendre for hilarious results.

His best skit in this vein is SBC Packers.

Rex is also a keen observer of Filipino culture, just as American culture is a target of  some his American  counterparts :

Rex is Hella Pinoy…and I fit some of the “so Pinoy” (Filipino) descriptions (this video reminds me of Jeff FoxWorthy)

Rex on Filipino Mothers

And my favorite female  comedian is Filipina-American Christine Gambito (a/k/a“Happy Slip”), who at this point is an Internet “performer” only.

Morning Meest

Peelings

Brown Beauty

Mixed Nuts

12 days of Christmas

Happy New Year!  And may your bargains be monsters and your laughs often and hard!  (That’s a rephrasing of the the way the World Poker Tour shows end.)

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8 responses to “I Laugh, Therefore I Am

  1. I can’t imagine you as the class clown. I thought you’d be a young militant like Michael from Good Times. And you just had to add a poker line didn’t you?

  2. Hummmmmmm.

    “Traditionally, the clown uses “clown white” makeup to cover his or her entire face and neck with none of the underlying flesh color showing.”

    Nope never seen any photos except the ” sweet kid” or the “angry Bomber” posted here.

    “In the European whiteface makeup, the ears are painted red. Features, in red and black, are delicate. He or she is traditionally costumed far more extravagantly than the other two clown types, sometimes wearing the ruffled collar and pointed hat which typify the stereotypical “clown suit”.

    You are not from Europe so that does not apply.

    Your Mexican – Right.

    “The whiteface character-type is often serious, all-knowing (even if not particularly smart), bossy and cocky.”

    Ok I give you that one.

    ” He is the ultimate authority figure.”

    Jury is out on this one. Although you have referenced that you like a Dictatorship idea or something like that from time to time so maybe I can see this one as well.

    “He serves the role of “straight-man” and sets up situations that can be turned funny.”

    Ok 2 out of 4 is not bad and a Royal Flush to you for the New Year. I prefer A’s and 8’s.

    It was a interesting read and I enjoyed it a great deal. Wishing you the best for the upcoming year. Oh . . . .

    Have enjoyed the posts.

    Do not see how you have time to do this every week. Must take a great deal of time. Cutting in on your poker time I suspect. I just have enough time it seems to look at emails and the occasional post or football site.

  3. Nick….who knows what other secrets the anarchist holds close to the vest? only the Shadow…muhahahha!

    I see you picked up on the poker line…

  4. Libertine….

    I suggest that a weekly blog might be just the vehicle for a road warrior with a laptop!

    Think of all the potential topics that must present themselves to you as you discover America.

    Go for it!

  5. I told you that you were an addict! lol

  6. I love it when your posts include things we can return to…which I will have to do to see the things you linked to. I’ve been extremely busy doing nothing.
    I’m also glad you reconciled the two sides of yourself. Seriousness without humor is dangerous.

  7. Brings to mind a famous Twain moment reflecting on British Humor (or lack of it)

    Happy New Year my friend.

  8. PTFan1 ….British humor is certainly “different’, as it’s “food”….

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