“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
When I was a kid, I often turned to humor for relief. It was kind of a protective barrier which helped me survive some of the pain of growing up. We all have skeletons in the closet – past sins that continue to haunt us – things we can’t seem to forgive ourselves for, even though God has already taken care of that.
Often we put on a mask to escape. We become someone else for a while to keep things on an even keel. Maybe that’s why I enjoy acting so much. I can take on a different personality and hide within that persona.
Eventually we have to come out in the open.
Many comedians have this malady. They become a funny person for the attention – to make someone laugh – to cover some deep seeded pain. Robin Williams comes to mind. There are so many who have left this world or become involved in some sort of scandal for those very reasons.
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.
Unlike most deep thinkers, I believe that laughter is good for the soul. It can 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 in life’s most difficult situations..
Red Skelton started honing his entertainment skills at the age of ten, when he appeared in a medicine show. He continued to work in show business for the rest of his life. He performed his brand of comedy 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. A good pie in the face never hurt anyone and I personally can attest to that.
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; we need to grieve for a while, but we need to pull up our bootstraps at some point and smile again too. The alternative isn’t pretty.
Proverbs 15:13 – A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.