“If by chance some day you’re not feeling well and you should remember some silly thing I’ve said or done and it brings back a smile to your face or a chuckle to your heart, then my purpose as your clown has been fulfilled.” Red Skelton
If you had a chance to write your own epitaph what would you like engraved into your tombstone? I, like Red Skelton, would love to be remembered for making someone laugh a little. Life is too full of sadness and darkness not to have a little humor mixed into it.
When I was a kid, I was known as the class clown – always making jokes – many times to simply get a laugh or make someone else happy – most of the time to cover up some sad feeling I was experiencing. I, unlike most thinkers, believe that laughter is good for the soul. It can help take your mind off your troubles even if only for a little while. It can keep you from falling into the depths of despair when life is attacking from all sides. It can maintain your sanity, even when the world closes in on you.
One of the heroes of my youth was Red Skelton. Each week we’d gather around our 8″ television screen to watch this funny man do ridiculous things that made us laugh. He also had a wonderful heart for humanity and the United States.
He started honing his entertainment skills when only a boy of ten, when he appeared in a medicine show. He continued to work in show business for the rest of his life, working on a show boat, in burlesque, vaudeville, radio and movies and finally on television. He was kind of a quirky fellow, who would never make it in today’s world, because his humor was more slapstick and unsophisticated, but sometimes we need that kind of funny too.
When we’re suffering through depression – when we’ve lost someone dear to us in death – when we wonder if we have enough money to make it to the next payday if there is one – when we’ve suffered a relationship loss – those are exactly the times when we need to laugh.
Proverbs 15:13 – A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.
When one of my grandsons was about three years old, we talked about what he wanted to do when he grew up. His greatest aspiration at the time was to be a Wal Mart greeter – but he thought his real job was to make people laugh. Great choice in my opinion. Maybe he’s a lot like his dear, old, granny.
I loved Red Skelton too.
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Indeed he was such a sweet man. I still remember Heathcliffe and Gertrude too. He was an amazing American as well.