Recently I’ve been thinking more and about what makes me happy and where I feel most at ease. It could be due to the fact that I spend most of my days balancing work life with motherhood – that finding time to just have a laugh takes more of a conscious effort. This shouldn’t be the case, after all laughter is good for the soul…
One of the easiest ways we can relax ourselves is through laughter. Whether its laughter through comedy or joyful banter nights out with friends, we all have our own personal ways of having fun.
According to research, the pro’s of laughter include the release of endorphins. This leaves us feeling more happy, less stressed, and relaxed. Through humour we create a balance in our lives which enable our burdens to lighten. In the short term this can have a positive impact on our lives.
According to laughter consultant Joe Bluett, “Laughter has a way of instantly connecting people and is one of the most basic and fundamental ways in which we communicate as human beings. But more than that – laughter can increase confidence, self-esteem, creativity, positivity and resilience, bringing positive changes to all aspects of our lives’.
COMEDY, COMEDIANS, AND LAUGHTER
Over here in the UK we have had our fair share of famous comedians. Back in the 70s Charlie Williams became the first Black British comedian to enjoy mainstream success. As part of his comedic act he would usually make light of racial issues and poke fun at his dark skin complexion. His uniqueness (a Black man from Yorkshire in a 1970s Britain) was rare. This paved the way for other Black UK comedians both men and women.
Gina Yashere and is one of the few Black British female comedians to enjoy success both here and in America. She has made appearances on Def Comedy Jam, and The Late Show.
Michaela Coel is another Black British Female who has also seen success both here and stateside. If you are unsure of who she is check out “chewing gum” on Netflix to get an idea. The unique, quirky and slightly awkward show earned Michaela a British Academy Television Award for Best Female Comedy Performance in 2016.
Comedy has been a form of communication across many different cultures. Almost every country on earth can appreciate some good comedy. In the states stars such as Dave Chapelle, Chris Rock, and Kevin Heart (to name a few) have all become critically acclaimed a-list comedians. Through Hollywood movies, and stand up they have raked multiple successes.
Although it has been argued that the representation of African-Americans in comedy have portrayed us as “stupid” or “gimmicky”; the above comedians have created narratives which neglect such stereotypes. They draw upon familiar experiences in the African-American communities and turn them into funny sketches – I guess that’s what comedy is all about.
For Londoners venues such as The British Library and The Hackney Empire host standup comedy shows dedicated to Black up coming comedians. Last month The British Library hosted Caribbean Comedy Week which was a major success. For more info on similar events click here, and remember to have a laugh this summer!