By Josh Stramiello
Comedian Hannah Gadsby created a lot of attention with her special “Nanette”. Critics focused on her unique delivery style, the break from traditional punchlines, and a lot of her work was seen as groundbreaking. One quote stood out, it said that Hannah “broke” comedy. Far from it, in reality, she used her trauma (don’t worry, no spoilers if you haven’t seen it) as fuel to tell her own story. She claimed power over her own narrative by doing the hard thing: facing her trauma and laughing at it.
Humor can be found in a twist, in a memory, in a similarity. We want personal, we want original. When you face the trauma you are going through right now, humor can be a powerful tool on the road to healing.
Whenever we get bad news we can’t control what has happened, but we can control how we react to it. Facing our reality head-on, while difficult, often leads to the best outcomes. The only thing scarier than a driver who takes his eyes off the road is a blind driver.
Blind drivers aren’t funny though. How can we make this funny? Let’s make the blind driver a bear! But what if the bear isn’t driving at all, it’s playing piano at your favorite Jazz bar. Now it’s not scary, in fact, it’s inspirational because you normally don’t see a blind person playing piano and you NEVER see a bear playing Jazz.
Feel better yet?
Humor brings laughter and tears. It evokes laughs and gasps. You can’t joke about something that you haven’t seen. Just like your 3rd-grade teacher would know that you didn’t do the reading when you wrote that substandard book report, the audience knows when we tell a joke we haven’t lived.
Take a look at someone who slays at turning her infertility journey into some of the best jokes about.
Laugh more. Heal more. Let’s do it together.