First of all Merry Christmas to everyone. And those who don’t celebrate Christmas, Happy Hanukkah! And let’s not forget Kwaanza, Boxing Day, Winter Soltice, Pancha Ganapati, Yule, Yalda and Dies Natalis Solis Invicti. Happy that to you too!
And the rest of you will probably burn in an eternal Hellfire.
I try to include everyone because I’m a self-proclaimed Catho-Christi-Hinuistic-Musli-Morma-Jew. I am! I don’t want to miss out on Heaven because of a technicality!
I love the holidays, but every year we hear stories about how stressful the holidays can be.
Suicide rates go up, family arguments occur, anxiety and depression increases, crime increases and so do heart attacks.
That’s not fake news, those are facts and I know it sounds drastic, but as a comedian I say, “Comedy Gold, right?!”
This little blog post is just a friendly reminder that despite the chaos and heightened everything that trends significantly upward during the holiday season, remember that you are a jester and revel in it!
Keep your eyes out for funny nuances of family members. Remember that little squabbles that feel so stressful during the holidays can become hysterical bits of comedy for your stand-up, your columns or your tweets.
One way to be sure you’re keeping your sense of humor is to remember to keep your cynical glasses on. Every comic is a bit of a cynic. We look outside the situation to see the funny in the situation.
If you’ve followed this blog at all you know that I’m emphatic about looking toward the opposite of expected to find the funny. If the number one psychological human laughter trigger is surprise, then looking for the opposite of expected is almost a magical way to find the funny. Or a funny start to a bit.
One exercise that helps is to utilize a top 10 list as a punchline generator.
- Top 10 Reasons you know it’s Christmas in Los Angeles, (or where you live)
- Top 10 Reasons you know it’s the Holidays at your house.
I know a lot of people who are in mixed marriages or whose parents are two different religions. You could start with something like…
“My father was raised Catholic. My mother was raised Jewish…”
Then do a top 10 list related to how you know it’s the holidays at your house to generate joke ideas.
Remember the Top 10 exercise is not designed for you to create a Top 10 List for your act, per se. That was Letterman’s bag. It’s there for you to generate punchlines and joke ideas for you to finesse into stand-alone jokes or jokes to fit into an bit.
Whatever works for you, just remember that humor is everywhere and seeking it out during the holidays, may reduce the stress that can actually come from the holidays.
Making it your goal to find some funny will help you to actually keep your Happy Holidays, happy!