A Spoonful of Laughter

Copyright : Jacek Dudzinski (courtesy of 123RF.com

The curative effects of laughter are now widely known, and many people (myself included) thrive on humorous social media posts. From the time I was a small child, I gravitated towards comedy, watching Carol Burnett, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Dave Allen (does anyone remember this fella?) and Benny Hill faithfully, all the while leaving my mother puzzled by my intense interest in the funny television variety shows which were the order of the day back in the 1960’s and 1970’s. She became even more concerned when I picked up a copy of Eddie Murphy: Comedian in 1982 and laughed my ass off while listening to the album repeatedly. Eddie’s stand-up style was so off-color for my mother that she bitched and moaned about me listening to him, but I found him hilarious and kept on listening. I have the record album (yes, a vinyl LP) in my collection to this day.

My love of comedy has never waned, and though I don’t watch enough television to get drawn into current sitcoms or other comedic shows, I am in my car often enough that I have developed a habit of listening to comedy while I drive. I find it much more enjoyable to listen to comedy than music while I am in the car, and since SiriusXM has a number of comedy stations, I have them loaded as presets on my radio and rotate through them. I would much rather listen to a comedy bit by a talented stand-up comedian than to toggle through radio stations which often play the same tunes over and over. The fact that I can laugh while driving, especially in Los Angeles, is a godsend. It’s a great way to arrive at my destination in a relatively good mood, even if I have to sit through hellish traffic.

Even if you don’t have SiriusXM, you can catch some pretty amusing morning radio shows. In L.A., I like listening to Frosty, Heidi and Frank. Most large metropolitan areas host morning radio shows which are worth a listen.

Copyright : yuriz (courtesy of 123RF.com)

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The Shows I Have Been Watching

Jim Gaffigan

I am not much of a T.V. person, mainly because I lack the free time to sit in front of the television and watch shows. However, I usually have one or two shows which I will follow for a while, then stop watching. The two new shows which have caught my interest and held it so far are Impastor and the Jim Gaffigan Show. Since I can’t watch them when they originally air, I have my DVR set to record each new episode.

Some of you may be wondering why I became curious about these particular shows. First of all, I tend to watch syndicated sitcoms on TV Land, so I saw previews of both shows there. Here are descriptions of each show:

THE JIM GAFFIGAN SHOW:

Jim Gaffigan stars in this comedy series inspired by his real-life struggles to balance his family life with his stand-up comedy career. Gaffigan plays Jim, who is married to offbeat Catholic wife Jeannie, whose ex-boyfriend and confidante Daniel is Jim’s biggest critic. Also in Jim’s life are friend Dave, a single, aggressive comedian, and the family’s priest, Father Nicholas. The New York-based comedy series features a lengthy list of celebrity cameos, including comedian Chris Rock, actor Steve Buscemi, TV host Keith Olbermann and actress Janeane Garofalo.

After watching several episodes of The Jim Gaffigan Show, I am intrigued enough to keep watching. Jim Gaffigan is such a likeable guy, and I have always liked his stand-up comedy, which is completely clean most of the time (a rarity in the stand-up comedy world). His show has good writers, and the cast is filled with comedic actors. I love the fact that Jim has such a big problem with food, and the dynamic with his T.V. wife is amusing to watch.

Impastor

IMPASTOR:

New series Impastor centers around Buddy Dobbs, who is in a rut. The slacker has a gambling debt that he’s trying to escape, which leads him to a bridge that he is getting ready to jump off. Before he does, however, a reverend shows up and talks him down. Things take a turn after the reverend slips off the bridge and falls to his death, leaving Buddy the opportunity to steal the man’s identity. Buddy begins to settle in to his new life as a pastor in a small, tight-knit town with the help of his preppy new assistant, Dora, alluring church treasurer Alexa and enthusiastic secretary Russell. He takes to the new gig quickly, because curing sex-crazed teenagers and stealing weed from young people are right up his alley. Despite Buddy’s quick assimilation into the role, church president Alden Schmidt senses something isn’t right. Back home, Buddy’s ex-girlfriend, Leanne, is forced to clean up the mess he left behind.

The premise and the first episode of Impastor grabbed me, and though I am not as riveted with subsequent episodes, the plot twists are so outlandish and hilarious that I will keep watching this show as well. I thoroughly enjoy how irreverent and blasphemous this series is, and am curious to see where this series goes. The writers definitely push the envelope with delicate subject matter and strange social juxtapositions.