Friday, May 15, 2015

"Comic writers – tend to be desperately unhappy."

There’s an old stereotype that comedians – and perhaps comic writers – tend to be desperately unhappy, depressive or deeply unhappy. Does this match your experience with the folks you knew there?

Not just there. I know a great many people who do comedy for a living. And it’s kind of common. Comedy seems to spring from the desire of the underdog to rewrite reality. In a comedy scenario, some measure of justice is finally achieved when the poor beleaguered antihero finally whines his way into a little power. It’s a much nicer way to deal with feeling furious and helpless and disenfranchised than to pick up a gun. Maybe someday gene-splicing will allow us to give violent psychopaths the ability to create comedy instead.

Excerpt from an interview with Letterman head writer Merrill Markoe over on Salon. This is a reoccurring comment in a lot of the reading I've done on depression, and it's in a lot of the back-story of a lot of comics, so this will come up again, no doubt. I have a lot on the topic of comedians and depression but I haven't had the time to sort through it. Soon!

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