Thursday, August 11, 2011

Laugh til it Hurts!

Well, when you're down in the dumps, nothing beats a night at a comedy club.
I wasn't in the dumps, but if I had been, Id be declaring myself cured at this moment. All because of a very cool and relaxing night out at the Improv, in Ybor City, a cool retro-Cuban section of Tampa, Florida. Now, I AM aware that most people have been to a comedy club at some point, including myself, and sometimes the humor is run of the mill, sometimes transcendant, and sometimes you will see something you have not seen before, as I did this night.
Tonight, I experienced the strange and over the top world of Pretty Paul Parsons.
I've seen them all in one way or another---George Carlin, Rodney Dangerfield, Steven Wright, Woody Allen, Richard Pryor, and so on, but never have I spent a night saying, "Oh, no, he didn't" as many times as I did this evening. Following stellar sets by Jim Choquette and Susan Saiger, the sixty something Parsons, clad in a navy blue jumpsuit ambled onstage. He then began to rattle off jokes like this one:
Oh, hell, this is a family blog, and I cant repeat that one. Well, the one about the bald headed....crap, I cant tell you that one either. In fact, about the only one I can repeat here has more to do with racist attitudes than hilariously perverted shots at every group from Catholic priests to farmers and goats. And I wont repeat it here either. His act went on and on, each joke more vile and hilarious than the one before, with a few clunkers thrown in for good measure, almost a relief from the sidesplitting laughter of the ones previously told.
This isn't intended as an advert for Paul Parsons. It's not even an advert for the Improv. The full house this evening tells me that they dont need my help, and neither does Pretty Paul Parsons, or Susan Saiger or Jim Choquette, for that matter.
What it is, though, is an advert for comedy, that incredible gift to us all. In a world where every damned thing seems to be involving war, violence, poverty, and all of the other sorry situations we hear about every day, we need all the laughs we can get.
Next time you are tired of the world as it is, head out for an evening at a comedy club. You dont have to see a Pretty Paul Parsons, or any other established stars. The MC for the show tonight,a local guy whose name I did not get, sadly, was almost as funny on his own level as Parsons was. Funny is funny, no matter who is preaching it.
Laugh like hell, groan just as loudly, and enjoy life. Its a gift.

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