Heard someone mention honesty in the political arena (is that an oxymoron?)–especially about Al Gore’s claim that he had grown up in a trailer.
This person said, “If he’d have just told the truth and said, ‘I grew up in money, and I am glad that I didn’t have to work as hard as you people do,’ I would have more trust in him. ”
So, honesty equals trustworthy, regardless of what correct ’image’ we try to project.
Any comedian will tell you that all comedy has at least some kernel of truth. Then we embellish, exaggerate–basically lie. But it is based on things that are true, because true things are more believable, and hence, more funny.
What if ALL politicians just told their whole stories, good and bad parts? Then there would be no attack ads, because none would be needed. What if politicians made fun of themselves, first, before their opponents did? What if someone wanted to buy these shoes that I will soon post on ebay?
How many great ideas have you left unsaid, because you couldn’t think of a witty remark on the spot? Why not? You were probably nervous, preoccupied, or apprehensive. This is what stress does to us–it keeps us from offering others our best, keeps us from creating an inviting environment, keeps us from having fun.
I had a relaxing day at the massage therapist, and it was a great opportunity to co-create a lot of comedy material. When we’re relaxed, we CAN think up clever things, mainly because we are NOT pressured, we are not being graded, and we are not being judged. So we let it all out.
My massage therapist asked me how often I run. I said, “Every day.” She said, “You’re disgusting! That was my goal at the beginning of the year–” I interrupted, ”What–to be disgusting?”
Then we moved on to my interests. I said I can go to the beach, but I get bored after one day, it’s enough. “I would rather ice skate.” She replied, “Oh, the beach is boring, but going around a circle for an hour and a half ISN’T?”
It was amazing how easy it was for both of us to ping-pong back and forth, and to recognize the absurdity of each other’s remarks. When we are in everyday work situations, we might miss these comedy opportunities because we aren’t laying on a table half-naked. Maybe your workplace should get a new dress code?
What have YOU done today to be a comedy catalyst?
I take it back–There is no Joy in Behar, at least today on The View.
Just as men can easily be perceived as angry (even when they aren’t meaning to be), women can be perceived as sarcastic (when they aren’t trying to be). Case in point: of course, The View, and discussion about George Bush vs. Barak Obama, which turned into Joy vs. the offended other girl.
Men can discuss things, argue with each other and get angry. And then they are back to normal. Women cannot pull this off–once that gate of anger is open by and in a group of women, nothing is the same! There is no turning back. They do not conform to their previous shape like men do.
They hate each other forever. Ask any woman who has been in a fight. They do not go and get a drink and talk about sports after the fight. They do what women do: they are social; they collect all their friends to protect them against the other woman and her friends. Stop me if I’m making this stuff up!
After the baleful bantering, you could just sense the palpable tension in the air. Those women HATE each other, and their acting as if they don’t only diminishes their credibility. I would respect them more if they just said aloud “I hate you, now here is my point…”
These women should not discuss politics in public. Whoopie Goldberg today was the mediator, strange as that sounds. The other woman on the show told her viewpoint in a calm voice. This made her point seem more reasonable and rational. She could have been talking trash, but since it was couched in pleasant demeanor, I wanted to listen and to hear more about her point of view.
Do we ever stop and think how we are being perceived? Not only the content of our message, but the way we say it. Do we have a sense of lightness, of rolling-with-the-punches (rather than trying to block or deliver punches)? If we voice our message in a hateful, angry, shrill tone, no one will hear our message anyway. No matter HOW brilliant it may be in reality!
Now do you see how important having a sense of humor is? I should have just watched the Price Is Right, Drew Carey is on there. And he doesn’t fight with ANYbody!
Here I am with Donnie Wahlberg on the Kill Point (SPIKE TV) set in Lawrenceville, PA/Pittsburgh. (I played the detective in the green skirt suit, remember?). News from People.com website–the New Kids are Back on the BLOCK!!!!!!!!!!
“After months of speculation and rumor, the Kids are coming back. A well-placed source tells PEOPLE exclusively that New Kids On The Block are indeed getting back together.
The band’s Web site, www.nkotb.com, which had been dormant, is now back up and running in anticipation of the official announcement, which the source says will be made in the next few weeks.
The site currently features a television graphic with a fuzzy, flickering photos of NKOTB in their heyday, and a link inviting fans to sign up for info.
The boy band, which made legions of tweens swoon in the early ’90s, selling more than 50 million albums, became a worldwide phenomenon before calling it quits in 1994.
Eighteen years later, they’re still “Hangin’ Tough.” The oldest “Kid,” Jonathan Knight, now a real estate developer, will turn 40 later this year. Since the band’s demise, former members Donnie Wahlberg, 38, and Joey McIntyre, 35, have seen acting success, while Danny Wood, 38, has worked as a music producer and Knight’s brother, Jordan, 37, has continued to record.”
Take a break from comedy, and watch
this. Go PENS!
Return the Cup toÃ
The Greatest Sports Town on the
To her credit, Hasselbeck does try to use self-deprecating humor on the show from time to time. Take her pregnancy weight gainâ€”please! But by the time she gets around to making fun of herself, it is too late; the damage has been done, because she had already established herself as a serious person. Her personality comes through in her terse reactions to her co-hostsâ€™ political views and attacks. She is usually the only one on the show who refuses to lighten up. IT IS A DAYTIME TALK SHOW Co-HOSTED BY THREE COMICS. IT IS ABOUT FLUFF. REALITY SAYS THAT SHE SHOULD NOT TAKE THIS STUFF SERIOUSLY!!
She broke the commandment for women:
She didnâ€™t join the sisterhood by being self-deprecating. Women know on some primal level that men come and go; but if we lose our women friends, we are truly alone in this world. Our humor reflects this knowing, and ensures that we donâ€™t (naturally) use attacking humor, especially in situations where we donâ€™t know the other person well.
The humor research on classroom teachers backs me up on this: When female teachers joked with students in an attacking humor style (most menâ€™s natural style of humor), students perceived the teacher very negatively.
Question: â€œSo why doesnâ€™t someone like Dennis Miller do that? How can HE state his political views, and be funny, without making self-deprecating remarks?â€
Answer: â€œBecause he doesnâ€™t HAVE to. Men just donâ€™t. Women DO. Donâ€™t ask me why–itâ€™s just what our culture expects from men and women.â€
You can try to change this expected pattern of humor behavior, but donâ€™t expect any laughs, and donâ€™t expect to be likedâ€”until the entire culture agrees to view women and men differently. Let’s see if someone can help Hasselbeck, “Get Your SHINE Together!”
Here’s more about the Hasselbeck scandal….
It seems that if someone can present their case in a way that is humorous, funny, and lighthearted, even if we don’t agree with their point–we are more likely to listen, AND more likely to be convinced that their message has merit. We might even change our opinion and agree with them.
But the opposite is also true: If someone speaks without a sense a humor, they lose in the likability factor (or as the Nametag guy would call it, ‘approachability’). And, by extension, they lose the credibility of their message. So, people who generally agree with the speaker’s point of view may just stop agreeing. Humor really IS that powerful!
The power of humor is everywhere–and today it was on The View. Since I don’t have TV, I am equally intrigued, disgusted, and interested in what I see when I do happen to see TV.
Take three comediennes and one non-comedienne, and whose voice and ideas do YOU think win?
I’ve always maintained that the only place women can be honest (=angry) is on the comedy stage. When we say things with a sense of humor, a sense of fun, and lightheartedness, we can say ANYthing. But when we don’t have those things in place, whatever we say will sound annoying.
Case in point:
It was an unusual occurrence as The Hasselbeck girl (I don’t remember her first name) got applause for one of her political views. Then Joy Behar chimed in with her strong point of view. Whether you like any of these women, or hate them, you can still LEARN from their styles of speech.
Joy can say very strong opinions, even seeming angry, but then, after the burst of anger, she comes in with a clever funny remark and always ends with a smile.
The anger she uses to make her point is almost like the set-up and then she leaves us with a release of laughter. She’s still friends with the audience, whether you agree with her opinion or not. We just like her. She has serious opinions, but doesn’t take HERSELF seriously. The other two women comics on the show are aqually adept at this ’strategy’ (although if they are comics, this has become send-nature to them, this speech style).
Now enter the non-comic. Without her sense of humor, she takes offense quickly, easily, and refelxively becomes defensive. (Is that perfectionism taking hold, causing her to want to present her point perfectly, make her side look perfect and without blame?).
This Hasselbeck woman is very bright, knows her stuff, she knows her facts, and has a lot of them. But she presents her case with NO sense of humor. She is stressed every second on that show. But give her a break–she is like Israel surrounded by its enemies, but all the more reason that a sense of humor is vital! She takes herself so seriously that when she makes her point, she becomes angry and then her voice goes shrill. She ends up being unlikeable. And–her message is left unheard. She screams her message, but no one can hear, because no one wants to listen. EVEN PEOPLE WHO AGREE WITH HER VIEWS!
The other hosts seems to realize they can get a reaction from her and they take that opportunity at every chance.
Women are like that. It’s why I quit the Girl Scouts.
Now, the View show is not the only non-comedy show to capitalize on using a sense of humor to make a point, and to remain likeable. Michael Savage does it with his tirades about the political climate, interspersed with recipes for meatballs that are NOT ’small and mean’ like liberals. Fox news uses it to make the other side the villian. Is it a coincidence that all the liberals on those Fox shows are ugly?
What do YOU think of this assessment of the humor climate on daytime TV? If I get a chance to watch at night, I will make other comments. Like, did you know there is a show where uninteresting, aged has-been stars try to dance ?
Just read an article by the 2001 World Champion of Public Speaking, Darren LaCroix. He wrote about adding humor to speeches and presentations. His advice–connect before you try to persuade. How do you connect? By writing about what you know: The message IS the presenter–they are one in the same.
And, his fellow World Champion speaker, Craig Valentine, says, “You don’t ADD humor, you UNCOVER it!” This allows your speech to sound more natural, less contrived. You use the related, innate, organic humor that can be uncovered in any situation.
There are funny things going on all around you. Maybe you’re one of them!
This entry comes as a courtesy of my friend Jay Speyerer of www.legacyroad.net. Jay had e-mailed me an article back in October, but I just today found a copy of it in my car. It was about observational humor–which incidentally, is the hallmark of my SHINE System of Communication.
The article was from John Kinde of www.humorpower.com and in it, Kinde reminds us that getting laughs is SECONDARY. The most important factor, is to make the committment to focus on seeing the humor in a situation. What I call the ’found humor’ comes mostly as a result of being ‘present’. In my personal vernacular, this would mean getting rid of perfectionism, and just allowing yourself to notice (without judgement) what is going on.
This week, give yourself the task of noticing humor around you–don’t force it, just notice it. It’s a discipline that you have to work at, but eventually everyone around you will become funnier. Even if they don’t realize it.
And then post a comment to this entry and let me know what’s so funny!
Thanks for helping others to “Get Your SHINE Together!”
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