This is part of the Slice of Life Challenge hosted by the Two Writing Teachers
Humor plays a significant role in my life. It started with my dad. He may not be the funniest guy on the planet, but he joked around constantly. He is also the one who introducd me to the comedy of Bill Cosby, Steve Martin and George Carlin. When he let me watch an George Carlin HBO special in middle school, I definitely felt like the coolest guy ever. Think about it, what middle school boy wouldn't want to know the words banned by the FCC?
The seeds my dad planted in my personality have flourished into a life-long love affair with humor. I went through a Steven Wright phase in college. Jerry Seinfield kept me laughing and thinking post college. Now I am mostly a Louis Black fan. However, I will still watch any of my "old" favorites if they happen to show up on Comdey Central.
The humorists I have listed so far are all wickedly funny and in my opinion wickedly smart. Being a guy, I will still laugh at things that are definitely not smart. My comeday snobbery is not to the point I can't giggle at the guys from Jackass. But to really get me going, I need funny and smart. Again, this traces back to my dad. He taught me to laugh at good jokes, work hard but never take myself too seriously and maybe most importantly get smart.
One of his sayings growing up was, "The only prejudice I have is againt stupid people." Unlike the now semi-famous Ron White line, "You can't fix stupid", my dad honestly thinks you can. So all that time he made me laugh, he also made me learn. Mmmmm. I wonder why my class motto is laugh and learn?
This reflection on humor and my dad was spawned a few nights as I was reading a book by David Sedaris. At one point I laughed out loud. Which rarely happens when I read. I may smile, I may think, "whoa, that's hysterical" but to laugh out loud is quite unusual. I realized it sounded a little like my dad's laugh. At that brief moment I knew the reason I like David Sedaris so much is because my dad invited me into his word many years ago.