So Mr. Myq Kaplan, you think you’re a funny guy, huh? Funny thing is every comedian probably should think they’re a funny guy. Or gal, of course. But the expression is akin to “smart ass.” The person is trying to joke about something that someone else doesn’t quite appreciate.
And being a funny guy isn’t often encouraged. There’s the class clown. They have to wear a dunce cap and go to the back corner of the classroom for being disruptive. We like jokes, of course, and we appreciate the company of someone who makes us laugh, but we don’t encourage our children to become comedians. And it’s an art, but we don’t approach it the way we may sign our children up for music, poetry or painting classes. One doesn’t generally practice comedy unless they aspire to make a career out of it. I’m sure there’s some people who do it for fun. They’re a member of the comedy troupe or improv group because they enjoy and thrive within those communities. But I suspect, if possible, they’d love to get paid doing it. Kind of like podcasting and rapping. We do it because we find fulfillment and joy in these activities, but we wouldn’t mind earning a little coin while we do it. But, there’s risk involved. Speaking into a microphone. Amplifying and sharing your thoughts.
It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.
It’s now who you know, but who knows you.
The risk of sharing yourself and of yourself so that others may have a better understanding of who you are. And in the process of sharing yourself you facilitate the discovery of self. Once you’ve discovered the self, you realize you, relatively speaking, are paradoxically both nothing and everything.
I sometimes think my daughter, just 5 years old, might become a comedian. She’s a smart ass. She’s also smart, and can be an ass. She challenges us. They say kids test your patience. They help facilitate these examinations of sort, of ourselves – introspection. I suspect that many parents whose children pursuit careers in comedy are concerned to some degree. Like rapping and podcasting there’s a lot of people trying to do it. Which makes a career in any three of these very competitive and challenging. Finding firm footing and financial security along these paths seems like an arduous journey. And be that as they may, I tend to put comedians on certain pedestal. Generally speaking, I think comedians tend to be some of the most intelligent people alive. Folk like George Carlin, Dick Gregory, Dave Chapelle, Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor, just to name a few. Let’s add Myq Kaplan now to that group. And it’s my list so I’ll add Hari Kondabalu and Margaret Cho, too.
What these comedians have in common. Aside from being hella funny, of course. Is that in being authentic and keeping it real, they've often used their stand up comedy to take a stand. Not all of the time, but a lot of the time. Yes, the goal of the comedian is to make their audience laugh. But what differentiates these great comedians from other comedians, and even you and I for that matter, is there ability to see things in a new light, from a different perspective. When they do this, it helps us realize that there are multiple truths and the way we see things isn't the only way.
Not all comedians are really intelligent. Just as not every politicians, news journalist or lawyer. And perhaps it take different forms of intelligence for individuals within each of these unique professions to excel. But these comedians on my list impress me by their ability to observe and analyze different experiences and situations from different angles and vantage points than many of us. Their ability to find the humor within tragedy and trauma. Sometimes its inappropriate, sometimes its dark. Sometimes it can be offensive and cause us to become angry. Sometimes sad. Sometime so damn funny we laugh so hard we cry.
It’s that perspective of the comedian to find the joke from experiences that are the most mundane to the most tragic that represents the simple paradoxical Truth of life. And of death. Sometimes the comedian kills it. Sometimes they choke, and their jokes fall on deaf ears. Silence. The resiliency of the comedian to keep at it. To try to punch line a different way. Rewrite and try again. That perspective is the ability to see that the glass is ten percent full even when it’s ninety percent empty. And even when it’s one hundred percent empty, the glass can still be used to trap a fly on the kitchen counter. The perspective to realize that our problem with our children’s tantrum in the grocery store is our problem. It’s our problem. Our embarrassment from them bringing unwanted attention to us in a public setting. It’s our frustration, our concern of judge mental eyes, our disappointment in ourselves and our insecure approach to parenting. Our ego.
The comedian knows this. They share of themselves. They are vulnerable and reveal insecurities and short comings. They use self deprecating humor and joke about themselves because we value authenticity. We value people keeping it real.
Myq Kaplan thinks he’s a funny guy (and so do I), and because he keeps it one hundred and approaches his work in a way that he makes a lot of CASH , he’s one of those Soul Force Ones.