How to Become a Comic

By Georgie Bright Kunkel

A sense of humor has risen to the top of the pot, as they say. I certainly can’t remember a time when people didn’t find laughter in life. Since no one has recorded the comedy quotient of the cave people we don’t know if they laughed when the burly male broke his club by mistake. But in recorded time, there have always been humorists to lighten the atmosphere. Since I began on the speaking circuit I have received more requests for humor talks than anything else. With society getting more complex and more stressful from year to year humor is more in demand.

When I was at church recently a woman approached me to ask when I was going on the comedy stage again. It turns out that she has conjured up enough nerve to actually climb up on the stage, even after turning 80 years of age. When I told her that I did comedy for the first time at age 80, it gave her courage. There is no time like the present, right? All it takes is to give oneself permission to try anything that is possible and there are no limits.

Never write off anything totally. For example, in my family horse racing was not considered a high level sport—especially since betting was closely connected with it.

Gambling was a no-no in the old Baptist tradition. So when my sister needed a ride to the horse races which were once held at Longacres I felt very daring when I offered to take her there. She was not able to do high stress activity and since racing gave her enjoyment I felt she should have a chance to enjoy herself at the track. As long as I was there I decided to place a bet. The only way I knew to bet was to watch the races and if a jockey won, I would bet on him when he ran another race later on. It worked for me.

What an upgrade Emerald Downs is from the old Longacres. The great grandstand looks out at Mt. Rainier and excitement runs high as the trumpeter plays signaling that the horses are lining up at the starting gate. As my fellow and I entered the grandstand we heard the voice of a woman singing the Star Spangled Banner. I asked an official how I could get to sing the Star Spangled Banner sometime and he replied, “You just sign up.” I really was tempted to put my name on the list but in my busy life I didn’t think I would be able to fit it in very soon.

Each moment is becoming very precious to me and I don’t want to waste one minute of my time from now on. My life from here on to the end is like a dance card with limited space. Every moment counts and I don’t want to waste even one second. Even when I was younger I started each new year with a list of what I wanted to accomplish the rest of the year. Most everyone makes the most of their time but I actually made a list of what I wanted to accomplish in the coming year. Sometimes plans change and that is understandable but without a life plan one drifts aimlessly about. At any age one needs to plan life so that one can make the most of one’s talents in relation to all the other people exercising their own choices in the world.

Certainly a sense of humor is high on the list of what human beings need in their lives. It lightens our load to be around friends who live with joy and openness. If warring countries could forget past grievances like our friends do, what a peaceful world we would live in. So collect humorous stories that do not put anyone down and lighten up every gathering by sharing them. Hooray for laughter. As long as it does not denigrate anyone and brings lightness into the lives of others, go for it.

Georgie Bright Kunkel is a freelance writer who can be reached at gnkunkel@comcast.net or 206-935-8663.