De-Scrambling With Jokes

A shoutout to Neal Brennan’s 3 Mics for explaining something I’ve struggled to.

Neal Brennan’s 3 Mics is a great exploration of the art of stand-up. The former Chapelle Show writer has three different mics set up for three different types of jokes – one for one-liners, one for traditional standup, and one for “emotional stuff.” It’s interesting to see how the three different sets interact, and how stand-up can be in many different forms.

Brennan brings up something at the end of the show while at the “emotional stuff” microphone that really resonated with me and the rush of making jokes.

“You know, sometimes the world can feel like a room that’s filling up with water. And…for me to be able to think of a joke, it’s like an air bubble. And I can take the oxygen I get into my lungs and it can carry me forward.

Like things can be overwhelming, and scary, and hopeful, but thankfully my brain can de-scramble things and form a joke. Like just for one second, things slow down and I can win. I can beat life.

It’s the best. And it’s so personal. And it’s something I’m so grateful for.”

Sometimes I don’t know where the jokes I make come from. They just appear, like Brennan says. They just click and then come out of my mouth. When that happens, and the laughter hits, I get a high like dopamine.

The first joke I ever remember telling was to my Mom’s friend Victor. He still to this day owns my favourite pizza place in history. The deal was if I had a joke ready for him when I came in, I’d get a free square slice. The first joke I used was this:

What did the ocean say to the shore?

Nothing, it just waved.

Wocka Wocka!

The importance of jokes in my life has always been there. My family can all recite our favourite comedian’s monologues. Life can always be explained by a comedian according to our household. Being able to make jokes makes some of the mundane of day-to-day even better.

I’ll always be grateful for this ability, and even more for my family’s emphasis on the importance of jokes in life as well.

Tell me your favourite terrible joke next time you see me. Guaranteed I’ll laugh at it.

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