Comedians, Comedy, and Tragedy Pt. 2, Mr. Williams

(NOTE: I wrote this and the last blog days ago on my facebook, but just now made it to here. Sorry for the long Sabbatical everyone!)

Robin Williams is a definite, and heartbreaking, example of what is often just behind the comedian’s ability to make others laugh. I recently posted something about how and why comedians do what they do, and we should all be reminded that although they are making us laugh, they are not always laughing when they go home.

Humor used as a wonderful coping mechanism can really help people through hard lives and difficult times, and often it helps to keep us in a positive mood to press on and to do better. But sometimes it’s not enough for certain issues, and it is only a band-aid for a deep laceration for many. The worst part is that many people assume that those making funny observations of life must be happy, and they forget or don’t realize that the humor is often covering up something much more ugly then anyone thought it could be.

I am certainly not blaming anyone for not realizing this. As someone who uses rant-humor as a way to get through the gritty BS of life, even I forget sometimes that folks like Bill Cosby, Dane Cook, Jenna Marbles, and of course Robin Williams, do not always just easily let things go or are impervious to life’s difficulties. No one is ever entirely impervious.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love that Louie CK show for portraying that comedians obviously do live in harsh realities just like we do, and that they react to it in ways just like many others do.

We are all not as different as we think we are. Our desires, dreams, issues, fears, concerns, hatreds, and motivations or lack thereof are not as definitively distant from each other as we mistakenly believe. We all endure different experiences, but these experiences are still similar in many ways. We are all human, we all experience life differently, but still similarly. If we didn’t then the word “relate” would not exist.

The point is to remember this the next time you think of that friend who always makes you laugh so much. They may seem like everything’s fine and dandy, and honestly there’s a good chance it is, but never assume that they are always so well put together. Never assume that they are not hurting deeply about something. Never assume that of anyone, because you wouldn’t assume that of yourself.

Goodnight, Vietnam. 


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