THOSE WHO MAKE US LAUGH MAKE THIS WORLD A BETTER PLACE
“Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious.”
- Peter Ustinov
When I was a school boy (St. Aloysius), there was no Television in our country. Our school had a small auditorium, where, every now and then, they used to show us a nice English film, mostly a comedy. My favourites were Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Buster Keaton. They were all B & W films. All Charlie Chaplin films used to be without dialogues. There was only one theatre in our hometown, Mangalore, which showed English films. I don’t remember watching a single film over there till I landed in college… There was no money to watch. Thus, we kids made the most of every film shown to us in school.
Now, almost fifty years later, thanks to the internet boom – particularly the Social Media – we get to watch many of those old English comedies (or their best scenes) on our mobile and computer screens. Every night, before going to bed, I make it a point to watch some funny scenes from Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy and Buster Keaton… They bring alive the kid in me and make me laugh effortlessly… And, yes, they help me shed off my stress and seriousness, and sleep well!
For some time now, there has been a boom in the comedy space. There are several comedy programmes on TV. Besides, young boys and girls, flock to watch live stand-up acts… That’s a nice thing to note. Personally, I love every comedy show as long as it is not crude and vulgar. Anyone, who can tickle my funny bone, by whatever funny act, is welcome. I think, a comedian does a great service to the society… which is, otherwise, too serious. News, politics, wars, gang rapes, terror attacks and even too much of ghyan (including Blogs such as mine) add to this seriousness. Yes, I know, most of us are serious bunch of people… We need to loosen up… laugh a lot more!
Yesterday, one of the videos I got to watch on Social Media was a comedy act from Darlene Davenport AKA Nancy Cartwright. Some years ago, I had watched the original version of this act. Victor Borge had an enviable style of making his audience laugh through a unique combination of music and comedy. It is said, that comedy is all about the sense of timing… and Victor Borge was blessed with loads of it. I had particularly loved one of his popular acts, where he would present simple punctuation marks - such as the Period, the Comma, the Semi-colon, the Colon, the Exclamation Mark, the Question Mark, the Dash etc - with his own sound effects. Darlene (Nancy Cartwright) recreated this act with her own brilliance. Watch them…
Many of us spend too much time on Social Media. A lot of it is not necessary… and, yes, harmful, too, for our mental and family health. But, a lot of it is good and does make us feel better, if we can learn to use it wisely… Videos of pets and babies are priceless. Some memes can make our day… And, those old English comedies… A Charlie Chaplin, a Laurel and Hardy and a Buster Keaton… They are ageless… Irreplaceable!