Saturday, April 22, 2006

Tickling the Funny Bone


Blogroll Me!


A week or so ago, I saw a link on www.aish.com that had the header: "Are you the next Jerry Seinfeld?" So I linked and saw that Aish is looking for funny folks.

And my mind began to tick away, and I immediately thought of several bloggers whom I deem funny...and I sent them the link. Of course, it's their option whether they want to do anything with the link, but I'm hoping that some of them take my suggestion and run with it.

Foremost in the funny, ha-ha, offbeat look at the world is Neil Kramer. Does he spend hours and days dreaming up his outlandish posts, I wonder? Does he open up his dictionary and randomly select a word that will provide the backbone of a new post? Is he some mild-mannered geeky ex-New Yorker who, upon trying to make it in LA LA Land, decided he must take on a funny persona, a facade if you may? Whatever it is that Neil's doing, he's doing it right!

And we have Jake Novak. I first discovered Jake in the comments section of Seraphic Secret. Jake is a well-rounded individual -- he knows his politics and he knows his punchlines. Whether Jake is providing readers with a Top Ten List of why Muslims are fanatics, or a Top Ten List of things your mother wanted to tell you, but never did, he keeps his readers in stitches. While Jake stems from an academic family, he makes his living as a comedy writer. I once said to him, "So, when you were a kid and playing pranks and cracking jokes, and your mother said, 'Look at my son; he thinks he's a comedian," it was a self-fulfilling prophecy!"Jake hopes that Hollywood will come knocking soon, handing him the title of sitcom writer -- I hope so, too!

Cruisin' Mom is an L.A. suburban mom/wife who just lets the words fly. She covers a range of topics -- from TV to celebrity spotting, from "fat days" to death. When you read her posts, you think: "Oh. My. G-d. She is hysterical. Is she this funny in person, too?" I keep telling Randi to submit her stuff to print magazines, specifically to women's magazines because many of her readers and commenters are women, and they always band together in seeing the humor behind Randi's words. Interestingly enough, Randi has used humor as a personal tool since she was a young girl. I have a feeling that one of Randi's gifts is having the ability to make people cry until they laugh, and make people laugh until they cry.

PsychoToddler -- DOCTOR PsychoToddler, I mean -- is one funny, frum fellow. Even if he doesn't think that of himself. He writes about his world of medicine, his world of music and his world of family and community with such precision and a great comedic timing. I'm guessing that sometimes when life laughs at you, you learn to laugh right back, and that's what PsychoToddler does. And BONUS, he married a funny woman -- Mrs. Balabusta. With her dry wit and her motherly sageness, she is a great partner for the good doctor. When they take their show to new vaudeville, I'll be right there in the audience.

And on that same bill of a vaudeville show, we have some members of Kerckhoff Coffeehouse: Doctor Bean and his wife, Ball-and-Chain, and Ralphie. As individuals and together, these folks have set me smirking, giggling and guffawing. I think it's all about taking simple, everyday, mundane topics (hardware store visits, pharmaceutical rep visits) and putting a spin on them...whether in their own posts or in the comments sections of others' posts. We are very fortunate that PsychoToddler and Doctor Bean have befriended one another and we get to be privy to their IM conversations.

Rabbi Neil Fleischmann had the title "New York's Funniest Rabbi" bestowed on him a few years back. That's quite a privilege I'm sure, in that cosmopolitan city in which he lives. No doubt there are countless rabbis who think themselves funny...but whose congregations don't! But Neil is a teacher, and I think students learn through humor, something that Neil probably continues to inject into his lessons.Lucky them! The truth is, Neil's posts are more serious than they are funny, but given that honorary title at a comedy competition makes him a life member of the funny club.

There is a group of bloggers who are also managers. They manage...not their own talent, but their clients': their children, their friends' children, their nieces and nephews. They manage these little ones and their contributions to the world of funny, in Our Kids Speak. Do check it out -- these children are our future. They've got us laughing now; just wait a few more years...

Of course there are others I've missed naming, but each one of you bloggers whose words I read are funny in their own way -- even if your blog is a serious one. Because, as I mentioned earlier, sometimes we cry until we laugh, or we laugh until we cry...

Wishing you all few tears, but lots of laughter in your lives...

13 comments:

cruisin-mom said...

Wow, Pearl...I must say I'm honored to be among the people you have mentioned.
How generous of you to always point to other's blogs.
Of course, none of us would miss a day of Pearlie's Wisdom!

rabbi neil fleischmann said...

I've said it before, you are the kindest of them all!

About my posts being serious - I think of stand up comedy and humor as an art form. Like a trumpet player, a comedian does not going around practicing his craft when he's not on stage or actually practicing/rehearsing. Most comedians are srious, quiet folk. Like poets, if they spent all their time socializing/joking they wouldn't be able to put together the observations they observe with the right turn of a phrase, etc. Many wild and crazy funny types in daily life have no clue how to do stand up.

cruisin-mom said...

Neil, that is so true. Steve Martin comes to mind. He is, apparantly, brilliant, and brooding, and quiet in his private life, as are many other comedians.

torontopearl said...

Why do I get the feeling, though, that Robin Williams is always ON!?

PsychoToddler said...

I'm very flattered, Pearl. But I think I would be a terrible comedy writer. I'm one of these guys who, if you REQUEST him to be funny, he is astonishingly UNfunny. Ask me to tell a joke and you'll get some knock-knock joke that only the PT will think is funny.

On the other hand, I think there's a lot of humor in the world (specifically the world around me) and if I can document it just so, it can be very funny.

PsychoToddler said...

And as a little corollary: I had a friend in college whom I thought to be terrible at telling jokes. He was always laughing at his own punchlines, his timing was awful, and he just wasn't very interesting to communicate with.

He called me a few years later when he was doing a standup routine in Milwaukee. He was hillarious.

cruisin-mom said...

Pearl: Robin Williams is an amazing dramatic actor, trained in Shakespeare...something tells me he's different at home.
P.T.: I think you're hysterical

rabbi neil fleischmann said...

Robin Williams can be very pensive and subdued. I have heard it suggested that he is manic/bipolar. If he is not technically manic than he is colloquialy so. No-one is on like that 24 hours a day.

I have a lot to say on this subject. Perhaps I will post about it. But just like Jerry Seinfeld's Comedian was not funny, you can count on my post to be so as well.

I'll just address the one example given: Steve Martin. Tommy Smothers once said that "being with Steve Martin is very much like being alone." When asked about what that meant Steve said simply that he can be extremely quiet.

Neil said...

And what about you, Pearl? You ain't chopped liver...

(why do they always say that, as if chopped liver was bad? In fact, to get a chopped liver sandwich in Jerry's Deli in LA costs me 12 dollars now. Shouldn't the saying be changed to something less expensive and exotic -- like a peanut butter sandwicb?"

torontopearl said...

Neil (Rabbi) and Randi: I've not heard those theories re. Robin Williams nor Steve Martin. Thanks for the enlightenment.

PT: Yes, you ARE funny. And that's all I have to say about that.

Neil Kramer: Thanks for implying that I'm funny, or as funny as chopped liver. Um, I like chopped liver. Schmeared on challah or matzah is the best. Did you know that chopped liver is fattening? Does that mean my humor is fattening or funnier when it's schmeared around?
Neil, if a funny award is ever given out, and it's made from chopped liver, you'll be on stage to accept it: Chopped Liver on Wry!

PsychoToddler said...

Nothing is better than an MLT--Mutton, Lettuce and Tomato, when the Mutton is nice and lean...

Sweettooth120 said...

I love that chatter mouth. What a great find. Hey...I got a question, sorta like the chicken and the egg. Do you find an image and then write a topic based on it, or do you think of a topic and seek out an image? Just curious. You always seem to nail them.

torontopearl said...

Good question! No, I have a title/story in mind, then I look for a GOOGLE image, and I try to be a little bit offbeat in my choices.

I should post once just about finding appropriate images...I often spend a fair bit of time doing that, and I LOVE to find a good pic.