Erin's Journals

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Just a thought… A well-developed sense of humor is the pole that adds balance to your steps as you walk the tightrope of life. [William Arthur Ward]

Some thoughts today on comedies and the people who bring them to us. Thank goodness for (most of) them; they keep us from crying and sometimes make us cry with laughter – as I did Tuesday night when we watched Jerry Seinfeld’s just-dropped 23 Hours to Kill on Netflix.

It was David Letterman, in the final days of his late night shift, who showed Rob and me that we could laugh again, those dark days of May 2015. Comedy has saved us more than once and continues to do so, for so many.

We’re grateful for Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel and Seth Meyers; they do deep dives on the day’s controversies, play clips of the US “leader” and his ridiculous statements and reactions and put them into clearer focus, shining a light on the absurdity of our times. (How we miss Rick Mercer these days….)

Unfortunately, we are at the point where we can watch only one or two of the late night monologues these days, having gotten exhausted by the emotions that they churn within us. I’m quite sure that swearing at the television is not a good way to end a day.

But I salute each and every personality and their teams, striving to continue to bring their shows to us from their homes (or, as in the case of HBO’s multi-award-winning host John Oliver, from a blank screened studio, also at home). They’re closer to earning their enormous salaries in ways they didn’t imagine possible even six weeks ago.

No, they’re not front line workers and goodness knows they’re sure not risking their lives like the real heroes of this pandemic. But in helping us to get through with some semblance of normalcy and some much-needed humour, they’re doing their part, the Bob Hopes of our times.

Side note: a favourite talk show guest of ours, Jim Gaffigan, has been cast to play late TO mayor Rob Ford in an upcoming movie or series. While the choice of Gaffigan is inspired, I’m not so sure this is a topic that needs to be covered – again.

As Saturday Night Live strives to bring us the best shows they can on a semi-regular basis, we are fortunate to have numerous options to which we can escape when the daily drudge gets to be too much.

We have choices galore in terms of old shows that can be called up with the push of a button: for us, it’s early episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm. I believe there may be nine seasons of old Seinfelds in our future as well, given the delays coming for this fall’s shows and the ones we’ve binged, anxiously awaiting fresh episodes.

Which brings me to Jerry Seinfeld. A lively and spry 65 (which isn’t a surprise), Jerry hasn’t lost a beat in bringing the small issues, the inner thoughts, the common person’s foibles and bigger picture pet peeves into focus with absolute hilarity and impeccable timing.

From wanting to get out of wherever we are (prescient, given these times, for sure) to how everything is great – and sucks – to the voice that we all put on when repeating what our partner says (which I definitely do, and had Rob and me both in tears) his whole act and sense of humour are sharp, clean and just what we need right now.

Of course, Jerry’s good anytime, but we were especially glad to laugh at an hour of comedy this week. We’ll be watching it again. Added bonuses: Jerry jumping from a helicopter, plus not one word about politics.

And then there’s Ricky Gervais’ second season of After Life. I’m so loathe for it to end that we’ve only gotten through two episodes! But the good news is that Ricky tweeted that he’s been encouraged to get off his “fat arse” to make a third season. So we’ve all got that to look forward to.

Take good care and thank you for stopping in. And please, don’t stop laughing. In the meantime, here are the two fortune cookies I’ve opened this week. Are you kidding me?

Rob WhiteheadThursday, May 7, 2020