I was sorry to hear the news back in 2017 when Jerry Lewis died. He was one of the last of the truly classic comedians who gained popularity during the 20th century. His way of acting out simple tasks such as typing on a manual typewriter (“Who’s Minding the Store”, 1963);
, or impersonating musicians from the Count Basie Orchestra (“Cinderfella”, 1962); was pure hilarity, designed to make us smile from the inside out;
More recently, Tim Conway passed away. He was another comedian who generated a smile when he simply walked on stage. His appearances on the Carol Burnett Show as Mr. Tudball and his frustration with Burnett, another class act, as Mrs. Wiggins (“Mrs. Wiggins: The Intercom… Again”, 1976);
along with his skit as the “Low Budget Cooking Show Chef” (19704), were uproarious because of the seriousness on his face during his accident-prone movements;
Other great comedians, like Lucille Ball (“The Lucy Show”) and Abbott and Costello (“Who’s On First?”);
had the comic genius to allow us to laugh at them because they used facial gestures and their own limitations to create clean humor for people of all ages and generations. We learned to laugh at ourselves, too, as we saw our own reflections in them and in their mishaps.
When I watch some of today’s comedians or comediennes and hear four-letter words, innuendos, and putdowns of other people intended to generate a smirk or laugh, it saddens me.
I am not a comedienne nor have I ever been mistaken for one, but I enjoy laughing and believe the popular phrase that “laughter is the best medicine”. It would be a wonderful gift to the world today and to generations to come if a new cadre of truly funny and clean humorists would bless us with the laughter that we need to help heal the sickness, anger, and sorrow that we see far too often around us.