The Vanity Fair Comedy Issue is great! Â This year, itâ€™s guest-edited by Judd Apatow. Â I have always loved comedy. Yes, for the obvious reason- cause it makes me laugh, but also because it was through comedy that I came to understand myself. Â Growing up, I was very comforted by Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Steve Martin, Lilly Tomlin, Gilda Radner, and Eddie Murphy getting in the Hot Tub as James Brown!
I was born quite a silly person. I have my father to thank for that…my real middle name is Joy. Â My mom said I just came into this world with a joyful spirit – joyful and energetic. HA! Â My pediatrician suggested to my mom that I was like a ball of energy and her job was to help direct my energy in a positive direction. Â I seem to express myself mostly thru my body, and even my pain seems to come out as joy. Many a dinner was interrupted by my unique zest for life or as my Grandma called it the â€œ12 year old gigglesâ€ (which I still seem to have at 40). Â So when I discovered others expressing their fears, pains and observations through comedy, when I saw Lucile Ball stuffing chocolate in her mouth and Carol wiggling around I found it explained myself to me. I am in no way comparing myself to these greats, but I know a part of me shares something in common with them.
Which brings me back to this fabulous new VF issue. Â It features some of the Comedy greats: Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner, Jim Carey, Steve Martin. Â Â It also features Sarah Silverman in a wonderful â€œYoung Hollywoodâ€ spread in which she really stands out (though she is slightly upstaged by the man in the lilac satin gown) and Zach Galifianakis with “Dispatches from the Set” where I read one of the funniest lines, maybe ever, about a a bird farting. Â Thereâ€™s also a stupidly awesome article on Mike Nichols and Elaine May and just so, so much more. Â Itâ€™s a thin issue that is jam packed with incredible stuff.
One of my favorite gems from the issue came from director, writer, producer and comedian, Mike Nichols. Â When asked, â€œWhat is the point of humor in society?â€ Â Nichols answers, in part, â€œItâ€™s the expression of freedom.â€ He goes on from there, but for me comedy at itâ€™s finest is just that: â€œThe expression of FREEDOM!â€
I also finally watched â€œThe Eddie Murphy-One Night Onlyâ€ special, and after reading the VF issue and watching this I am struck by how comedy seems to live in friendships and within connection. I love the thought of this. The magic that occurs in some of these epic partnerships; the idea of collaboration is a fun and delicious one to ponder. Does a tree make a sound when it falls if no one is there to hear it? Is comedy funny if no one is there to laugh?