?Laugh and the world laughs with you,? a small line from a poem by Ella Wheeler which gained significance in the eyes of many comedic performers. Comedy has carried us through many tragic events such as The Depression and war. Even personal difficulties are better adopted with the unique abilities of gifted comedians.
When I was young my father was an avid ?back in the day? story teller. I remember well him telling me about silent television. Of course, as a kid I?m thinking how useless TV would be without sound. Then, I was introduced to Benny Hill. Though Benny?s efforts caused controversy among some, his laugher caused tears among millions.
Teamwork was well appreciated with the ?grand slam? efforts of Abbott and Costello?s ?Who?s on First?? routine. Their major league performance gained them a platform in Baseball?s Hall of Fame. High in recognition in the comedic arena was a man who put reality into play. Jackie Gleason didn?t sugar coat marriage in his show, The Honeymooners. Instead, he opened us to humor at, what might be thought of as, inappropriate times. His approach, however ironic, also complimented our humanity.
Carol Burnette has played many different roles in her career. Oddly enough, her Tarzan yell became infamous. Eunice was likely a side of Carol that allowed her to develop a variety show at a time she was told it was a man?s world. Eunice was unmanageable and stubborn. I?m grateful to have witnessed those qualities and to have been able to share in the laughter of a show that was said to be doomed.
Close to my own funny bone is a heroic comedian who also beat the odds after being told in 1925 by a drama coach that as a performer she had no future, Lucille Ball. Had she listened we?d have been deprived of the tremendous laughter she so graciously offered. It?s reported that ?I Love Lucy? dominated weekly ratings calculated in the United States which overwhelmingly proves we all love Lucy.