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With all that’s going on around us, we need a humor break

Wednesday morning I was listening to the radio as I drove to work and heard a comedy classic.

It wasn’t a comedy routine like Abbott and Costello’s famous “Who’s on First,” but a song, “The Ballad of Lizzie Borden” by the Chad Mitchell Trio, a folk group from the early 1960s. I first heard the song in 1963, I believe, listening to it as I lay in bed with my radio late one night. It was wonderful to hear it again and I had a good chuckle as I made my way into work.

And then I started thinking, which is something humans should not do — we’re not laughing enough.

I know that sounds strange, but for some reason, it seems to me that one of the best weapons we have to escape the doom and gloom over COVID-19 and the national and world situation — exclusive of the pandemic — even for a little while is humor. We need to have a break every now and then where we just have a good belly laugh.

No, I’m not being callous and cruel and I’m not taking the pandemic and the other problems facing us lightly. Obviously, we are facing some serious issues, but there are times when we need a break from the troubles of the world just as much as we need an annual vacation from work to rest and recharge.

The use of humor and other diversions to escape problems has been a tradition in the U.S. for decades. During the Great Depression, people found escape and solace through movies and in serials, dramas and comedy programs on the radio. They did the same during World War II. Today, with the multiple networks and channels on cable, satellite and streaming networks, the options for television programs are endless, and that includes comedies.

I’m not going to enter into a discussion of the present selection of comedy programs on the networks, since I rarely watch network television anymore. I will, however, say that out of the ones I have seen I haven’t found one that is either very funny or worth getting addicted to.

What we need is more TV comedies like “Barney Miller,” a police comedy; “Night Court,” which should be self-explanatory; “WKRP,” a comedy about a Cincinnati, Ohio radio station; and the timeless classic, “I Love Lucy,” which is as relevant and funny today as when it aired in the 1950s and ’60s. And if you can find them, the non-politically correct Looney Tunes cartoons are still the best for a good, continuous laugh.

With all the seriousness around us, we need to get away from the melancholy and laugh — out loud if we can. So folks, get out there and surf the channels for humor. Go to the library and checkout DVDs of Marx Brothers films or Three Stooges shorts. Look over the selections of comedy television series. Take them home for the weekend and binge-watch. Laugh until you’re light-headed. Escape from the doom.

The old saying that “Laughter is the best medicine” is very true. And we need that now.


John Surratt is a staff writer for The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at john.surratt@vicksburgpost.com.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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