The truth is, I love to laugh. It's probably in the Top Five things I love to do, along with eat, have sex, write and mope.
Whenever I'm stressed or stuck in a situation that is seemingly hopeless, my body will automatically erupt into laughter. It's weird. The first time I noticed this weird phenomenon was the summer between my freshman and sophomore year of college. I worked at Walmart (America's Sweetheart!) as a cashier, and one night, while closing out my drawer, I realized that the drawer in question was significantly lacking. Like, there was a whole lot less cash in it than there should of been. A sputtered laugh crawled its way out of my throat, followed by two or three more. It was as if my body were saying, "We've got nothing else to lose--let's laugh it up!" It made me feel better, oddly enough.
(Oh, it turns out Walmart doesn't really give much of shit if your register drawer is short or not. As long as the Powers That Be know that business has been cruelly stolen from some no-name, mom-and-pop establishment that day, Walmart feels just fine.)
I also laugh for normal reasons too. Like at funny stuff. Like recently. I laughed harder last Saturday night than I have in a very long time, and I think it bears sharing.
Perhaps you've heard the term "podcast," perhaps you even listen to them. I've made no secret of my love/dependence upon podcasts on this blog. You might say, I'm a fan of the medium. If you listen to podcasts, you might have heard of a little program called Comedy Bang Bang, and if you are super into podcasts and comedy in general, you might know that Comedy Bang Bang started as a weekly alternative stand-up show in Los Angeles, California. If you have never heard of podcasts, Comedy Bang Bang, and/or Los Angeles, California, there's really nothing more I can do for you right now.
So, the Comedy Bang Bang live show ended last year, but a new show, aptly titled Put Your Hands Together, hosted by Cameron Esposito, took it's place. PYHT, as the hip kids call it (maybe), is recorded and released as a podcast each week. I recently listened to the first episode and kind of instantly fell in love with it. Esposito is great and the first episode features amazingly funny sets from Kyle Kinane, Ron Funches, and Zach Sherwin, among others.
"That certainly was a gas," I said, addressing my iPhone at the conclusion of Episode 1. "What else do you have for me today, iPhone, my old bean?" What else did it have, you ask? Oh, only THE FUNNIEST THING I'VE EVER HEARD IN MY LIFE!
PYHT's second episode ends with a set from Bobcat Goldthwait. Goldthwait's set includes a story about his appearance at last year's Gathering of the Juggalos, the annual concert/cesspool organized by the Insane Clown Posse, America's premiere clown rap outfit. I won't get into the specifics of Goldthwait's bit, because it really must be experienced, but I can tell you it involves a golf cart, a can of Faygo, and an individual known as Upchuck the Clown.
I've mentioned in other places that Goldthwait's story made me laugh myself into a blackout, and while this is a bit of an exaggeration, it is only that: a bit. The first volley of laughs propelled me into a coughing fit, during which I experienced what is commonly referred to as "tunnel vision." It was a little scary, but also a little freeing, like, the sad tale of Upchuck's misfortune as a result of his obviously ill-advised career choice I was listening to was releasing my soul into the ether that surrounds all things in the universe. For a fleeting moment, I was one with all time and space. I couldn't breathe, but it didn't matter. I repeated the holy phrase "Fuck you, Upchuck! Fuck you!" like it was, and always had been. my personal, secret mantra.
I listened to the story five times that night, coughing and wheezing and nearly passing out each time. It was the closest I've come to spiritual experience in a long time. Maybe the closest ever!
Now, sure, I'd love for all of you to download the second episode of PYHT, listen to the Upchuck story and very nearly die laughing like I did, but everyone deserves their own "hardest I've ever laughed" moment. In fact, I'd be interested to hear yours. If you'd like, you can share yours in the comments section of this post or on our Facebook page. Whatever you do though, laugh, loudly and often. It really will help you live longer.
Unless it doesn't.