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Look in the Mirror

What's funny? People. Only that. Nothing else. Everything else that we laugh at we laugh at because it relates to people. When we laugh at a dog or cat, it's when they do something that reminds us of humans. When we read a sign that says "National speling champions," we laugh because someone wrote it.

Let's dive deep.

We mostly live a life of illusion. We think we can control things. The less we truly understand, the more we think we can control. We think we are important and that we, as individuals, are important. We think that The Universe cares whether or not our football team wins. We live in a world, in a universe, that is chaotic by nature. We construct our own realities in our heads. And when those fake realities clash with real reality, we prefer the fake ones. We resent anyone who points this out to us.

We are like a dog that is forever running up the down escalator. We think that effort alone is enough. We are the guy who lives at the foot of a volcano, with lava slowly flowing toward his home...who buys and constructs an expensive wooden fence to keep it away from the house.

As children, we both believe and disbelieve in Santa Claus, simultaneously. We invented cognitive dissonance because we know what mortality is but would rather pretend we don't.

The difference between what is clearly going on and what we prefer to believe is the essence of the human condition. It is the source of pain or delusion or absurdity if it's happening to you. it is the source of comedy when it happens to a stranger or fictional character.

There are those who do not see this as being the human condition. They seriously believe that, among the countless galaxies and endless stretches of time and space in which we float, those galaxies will tremble just a bit if they score that touchdown. They don't see that human life is, among other things, absurd at its very core. They are unlikely to get comedy. But, without knowing it, they add to it with every action and every word. We are all standing in a pool of mud up to our chins, and every struggle they make just causes waves for the rest of us.

There are others who understand this. They are the ones who weave this absurdity into what humans call "comedy." They too add to the amount of comedy in the world. Because even they aren't immune. No one is.

Do you need to find a bottomless well of comedic inspiration to help fuel your improv? It's as close as the nearest mirror. And creating comedy is as simple as holding that mirror up to an audience. You can seek comedy by trying very hard to make non-human things funny. We will watch you try. We will watch you run up that down escalator. And we will laugh. Thank you.

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