Sunday, August 19, 2018

Weekly Inspiration: Laughter is the Best Medicine

My older son, who has had ME/CFS for 14 years and three tick infections for about 12 years, is fond of saying, "Laughter really IS the best medicine, Mom!" While he was growing up, he and I frequently put this old adage to practical use. When he was badly crashed and home from school (which was a LOT some years), he and I would get videos from the library or watch old comedy TV shows on TVLand. I Love Lucy was one of our favorites - guaranteed to bring on belly laughs and make us both feel better. Our favorite episode was the one where Ricky thinks he's losing his hair, so Lucy does all these bizarre homemade cures for him - hilarious!! Here's a brief clip from that episode - it still works - my husband is asking what's so funny!

And even though my son had NO idea who Carol Burnett was, he proclaimed that this was the funniest thing he'd ever seen (he still thinks so) when I shared this clip of Tim Conway's dentist sketch from The Carol Burnett Show:

For some more recent TV shows that will tickle your funny bone and make you forget your worries for a little while, try these (my review and a trailer are at each link):
  • The Letdown, an Australian comedy about a new mom, had me laughing out loud and will especially appeal to anyone who's a parent.
  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisal, an Amazon original show, has plenty of warmth and drama but is also very, very funny, about a woman in the 1950's who wants to do stand-up comedy. I can't wait for season 2!
  • BrainDead, available on Amazon Prime, is a very weird but hilarious show that combines political satire and aliens (really!). My husband and I laughed through its first and only season last summer.
I also love to watch movies that make me laugh - a great pick-me-up on a crash day! Our all-time favorite "laughter is the best medicine" movie is Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, which we can just about recite by now, but that just makes us laugh even harder!

A few other (more recent) funny movies to pick you up when you're feeling down:
  • Game Night starring Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams surprised me by how funny it was. It's a mystery/thriller but with lots of laughs.
  • Hello, My Name is Doris stars Sally Fields as an aging eccentric who has a crush on a young hot guy at work. My two friends and I loved this warm, funny movie.
  • St. Vincent stars Bill Murray as a grumpy old man who gets roped into babysitting, with lots of laugh but also some poignant moments, too. My husband and I both enjoyed it.
And for those like me who are avid readers, there is nothing better than a book that makes you laugh out loud but is also warm and uplifting. Here are a few of my recent favorites:
  • My Ex-Life by Stephen McCauley - an insightful and very funny novel about a gay man who moves in with his ex-wife and her daughter. I had the pleasure of reviewing the book, interviewing the author, and then meeting him in person. I am now looking forward to reading some of his earlier novels!
  • Be Frank with Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson - a quirky, warmhearted, and hilarious novel about a unique little boy who bonds with his caretaker. My book group enjoyed it very much.
  • The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak - a very fun, poignant, and laugh-out-loud novel about a couple of kids who enters a computer programming contest in the 1980's - a must-read if you grew up in the 80's!
I could go on and on all day, but I want to hear from YOU - what are your favorite TV shows, movies, and books that make you laugh and provide a good pick-me-up on a bad day?

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