I had a playwriting instructor during my second year of college who was accused of playing favorites with his students who were adept with comedy. There was probably some truth to this accusation, but it didn’t bother me much as I was one of his students who specialized in humor. This professor was clearly a man who appreciated comedy. Most of the peer examples that he used in class were by those of us with considerable skill with comedic dialogue, and a good number of the well-known professional examples that we were required to view or read the scripts to for grades were comedies. He once said something during lecture (in re: comedy) that I have never forgotten. I’m paraphrasing: It’s easy to make an audience cry. He told us that there are universal things that just about everybody on the planet finds traumatizing or sad (having a child die or killing an animal were the two examples he gave in class), but that there was no way of knowing what might make every single person in an audience laugh. Our individual senses of humor, according to this professor, are like snowflakes or fingerprints.
I will be honest and admit that I haven’t done a whole lot of movie watching lately. My work schedule has been just to the left of insane, and I spend most of my free time sleeping. There has been little time for television and even less time for writing. I’ve spent the hour or two before I retire in the morning (I work third shift) reading comic books or a novel because it honestly helps me sleep. When I do take the opportunity to watch some television, it is usually in the evening, in the hour-and-a-half or so that falls between putting the children to bed and heading out the door to drive to work. During this time, I watch Star Trek reruns, get caught up on the most recent season of Superstore, or get lost in reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond (don’t judge me– the cast is top notch). I watch these things because I have seen them before and they are comforting to me.
Comforting. That’s the operative word for me right now. I need the comfort of familiarity. I’m struggling with day to day. I was anxious most of the time about the recent presidential election. I am still feeling lost and adrift, surrounded by co-workers and family who are ardent supporters or vehement apologists for a President who has, for the first time in my life, made me ashamed to be an American. The pandemic looms over everything. It’s not a great time for my mental health right now, but I am trying to find positivity in the aspects of my life that I can control. My wife and kids. A handful of close confidantes. Comic books. And reruns of old comedies that make me laugh every time.
As I’ve mentioned, the time that I have available to write has been sadly lacking, but I do find it important that I keep the blog rolling. I appreciate that I have a good number of readers that are following my writings. To that end, I find it important to keep the content fresh, even if I don’t necessarily have a new entry for an individual film. I also wanted to keep things positive as well.
There’s a new feature at Cinematic Rabbit Hole, friends. You may see a few of these entries over the next few months. They will be easier for me to write. They will provide readers with new content while I work on the longer entries (I have three entries still in process, one of which that may be capable of getting my inter-connected labyrinth back on track). These entries are not intended to replace normal content. They are intended to invite discussion. I hope you enjoy it.
In the spirit of remaining positive, our first List of Four (which is what I am intending to call this feature) is Four Comedies That Make Me Laugh Every Single Time: