There was a study released by Reuters earlier this month on Comedians. In this study by the British journal of Psychiatry said Comedians among other things demonstrate moodiness, social introversion, and the tendency to lateral thinking.
The report was posted on Face book, given to me by my Wife for me to read to show me why she is on the way to being my ex-wife, and I brought the copy with me to show to my therapist who in typical therapist fashion asked me what I thought. You would figure at what she charges an hour she would have some ideas as she has been listening to my antics and back story for over a year.
What do I think??? I think the study is pretty much spot on. Before this study came out there has been many a conversation in a Comedy club greenroom on what we do and why.
Let’s break down the basic premise of what we do.
What normal person would get in a car, drive three hours one way to talk from fifteen minutes to an hour in front of total strangers to get their approval and in my case try to hide in the corner when the show is over so I don’t have to meet with people because I am not good in social situations.
That’s crazy, but a lot of us are like this.
I am not a social person and I like to keep to myself. With the exception of the compound I hate parties; I do not like weddings, crowded bars or anything with a large amount of strangers.
I also do not celebrate special occasions, I do not celebrate my Birthday, or Christmas (yeah I know I am Santa) or rarely smile in pictures, or have people over my house.
I also can be somewhat moody as well, just ask anybody that knows me as a matter of fact my moodiness was a big problem on the show at the beginning of last year and lead me to an amicable absence for about a month.
However I love to go on stage and make people laugh it’s that feeling that is the drug that takes away the pain that has lead to a lot of these traits that comics have.
For a lot of comics , this drug is what will do the trick, for other tragic comics this drug is not enough and they need to go farther to drugs of a different nature and we have tragically lost or almost lost some of the most brilliant comic minds that are out there.
We had the gentleman who conducted the study, Professor Gordon Claridge of Oxford University call into our show.
The chat room said he was boring really, he is an Oxford Professor not Rich Vos. I however found him fascinating as he gave us an insight on the study which was an insight into me.
Pip asked the professor some great insightful questions as well; they would have been better received if it was the article that we were discussing- LOL.
My take on some of the symptoms is this
A tendency for Anti social behavior– As we are locked in our own world we create things around it and then observe the issues that drives us to be anti social and then go on stage and report our findings to an audience.
The laughter we get in return is the silver lining and pay off and what keeps us in, and reinforces our anti social tendencies.
Impulsive non conformity– Comics rarely conform, we all have rebellious behavior and look outside the box. This enables us to get a take on things in a humorous fashion that people without these tendencies would not usually see.
In regards again to impulsive behavior, this is what gives comics the ability to throw out humorous lines or observations in an instant, Like Jim Norton or Antony on O & A, and Myself, Davin, or Pip on our show.
Now Davin claims he had no experiences that would have lead him to the tendencies that comics have, I did point out one that I share with him, and that is being raised in a house as the only child.
As an only child your are in an environment where you don’t have a sibling to keep you company and you are not used to sharing ,this is the basis for creating an environment of entertaining yourself as well as antisocial behavior because you never had to share with someone else.
The next time you go to a comedy show please don’t think we are all creeps and lunatics because we are not. Most of us love what we do and love entertaining a great audience and we are very appreciative when you come by and say hello after a show, it means a lot to us.
But if you ever read about a comic that had the world on a string and then threw it all away, these tendencies were the ingredients to their success as well as their failure.
See ya out there.