Standup Route Part 3

There’s a bit of a trend in some comedians you know. A lot of acts are just about observations that are made and then they relay them to everyone else in a funny matter. But there’s usually a bunch that are about how messed up their lives are. These kinds of comedians ring very true to life and are good to praise as people who can take the worst of a situation and make it laughable. At the end of the day though, that stuff is their life. So no matter how funny they can make it for others, the moment they get off the stage they’re living with it.

Mike Mcdonald said last night on the Winnipeg comedy fest on CBC, “There are two kinds of comedians, Those diagnosed and those who aren’t.” Which I guess you could look at some acts and see that it totally makes sense. But it was weird for [Canadian Comedian] Mike Mcdonald have his whole act being about how we was diagnosed with Manic Depression and Bi-polar disorder. This was a guy that I watched all teh time growing up, because he was hilarious. High energy, enthusiasm just for the art of making jokes. Watching him last night, he’s still got it. But there was something was different about him.

I guess since after being diagnosed he had to have been on medication or something because the energy wasn’t there. It’s as if I was watching a completely different person. Part of me wonders if it’s before the whole comedian Shtick or because of it. You look at someone like Christopher Titus His entire career was built up about nothing but traumatic experiences from stand up specials to the TV show about his life that aired on fox. You can look at that guy and think, “Holy hell there’s no reason for this guy to not be committed.” But I think he has rather done well for himself, and continues to strive. He makes jokes but there’s always something to learn out of it.

Mike Mcdonald never had a career based on how messed up his life was, it was all observations that any other comedian would make, but looking back there was always a lot of hidden rage in a lot of the stand up he did. But we’re not talking about Lewis Black rage here, which I’m told is artificial (doesn’t mean it’s not funny) It was just a normal guy, saying his piece while seeming a little bothered by it. You wouldn’t think years later is resulted in him sitting in a psych ward for 72 hours on suicide watch.

I’m just happy to see him still at it, even if he comes off slightly more vacant than he was.

That being said, I’d be interested in finding a list of Comedians who suffered seriously from some sort of mental illness. and I and to compare and contrast based on their routine. I had no Idea that Russel Brand was Bi-polar, I just assumed he had ADHD


3 thoughts on “Standup Route Part 3

  1. It does seem to be the case that many comedians have depression issues / mood disorders. You’ve probably heard this some reference to this before but there’s the story about a

    Man who goes to doctor. Says he’s depressed. Says life seems harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world, where what lies ahead is vague and uncertain. Doctor says the treatment is simple. The great clown Terrifini is in town tonight. Go and see him. That should pick you up. Man bursts into tears: “But doctor . . . I am Terrifini.”

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