This weeks post is probably one of the most important subjects I’ve ever written about.
It’s about laughter and the amazing, powerful, rejuvenating effects it can have on us.
Laughter is literally life saving.
When we laugh, we boost our immune system and trigger endorphins which are the bodies ‘feel good chemicals’.
If you are an addict or alcoholic, then I know you’re gonna be all about those feel good chemicals.
That’s exactly what addicts are chasing, an artificial way to make themselves feel good.
In recovery we have to learn other ways to make our selves feel good. And laughter is one of the easiest and most effective ways of doing it.
When I was in early recovery I truly didn’t believe I would ever laugh again. I was certain I was never going to have fun and my life would be boring and glum, but at least I would be sober and not causing damage to myself or others.
Thankfully, nothing could be further from the truth!
I can actually remember the first time I really laughed in recovery. You know that helpless, belly laugh kind? Where the laugh just takes over you and you surrender yourself to the pure enjoyment of it.
I was shocked to discover how amazing it felt.
I had laughed plenty of times when I was high or drunk, but I realized there was a significant difference between laughing organically and laughing through chemical intervention.
So if you are in early recovery I urge you to take every opportunity you can to laugh.
Which is why you should really check out Kristen Johnston’s sitcom The Exes, which is back on TV on December 11th.
I’ve been immensely grateful for the support Kristen has given my work. She has tweeted and Facebooked my blog and even let people know she bought my book ‘Why you drink and How to stop.’ Kristen has a big following so this has made a tremendous difference in getting my work out there.
In return, I wanted to check out the work she has done. I read ‘Guts’ which is excellent, but I really hadn’t seen any of her shows. I’m British so I never really saw ’3rd Rock from the Sun’, I do remember her cameo in Sex and the City but I’ve not seen her in much else.
So I was keen, but slightly nervous to watch The Exes.
I’ll be honest with you, I usually prefer British comedy. I like my comedy dark, edgy, a little bit rude and preferably with lots of swearing. I also just don’t get all the humor in American sitcoms. I never really got ‘Seinfeld,’ (I know shoot me), Louis CK just doesn’t do it for me, Friends was just too obvious, so I did wonder if I would even like The Exes.
Well big relief, it’s actually very, very good. The Exes is actually cleverly disguised as just another situation comedy when actually it is edgy and deliciously rude in just the way I like my sitcoms.
There is one scene in particular that makes me laugh helplessly every time I see it. It involves Kristen’s character and a cucumber…(please scroll down to the bottom where the is a clip of it, I dare you not to snort with laughter).
The Exes is shown on TVLand on Wednesday December 11th at 10.30p/9.30C. I can promise you if you check it out just to support Kristen’s work, you’ll end up staying because it hits all the right spots of funny.
So in order to aid you in the life saving task of laughing, I put together some of my absolute favorite clips from British comedy shows and a hysterical scene from The Exes. Take a couple of minutes to set off some endorphins to boost your immune system, because laughing is one of the best things about recovery.
Please let me know which one’s you like.
Gavin and Stacey was a huge hit in the UK. It was a story that centered about a young couple who meet fall in love and get married. The humor is in their relationships and interactions with their eccentric family and friends. The clip below is from their Christmas special, and as we are into December I wanted to include it. It manages to celebrate the friendship between two best friends in a way that is both heart warming and hysterical. It’s just so very, very British.
The Thick Of It is a documentary style political satire that pushed the boundaries so far you literally gasped at their audaciousness. This clip is actually from the movie ‘In the Loop’ that spun out of the show. The main character Malcolm Tucker is a work of such comic genus that I don’t think anyone will ever match his brilliance. Tucker is a ‘spin doctor’ (media communicator) with the British government. He is in Washington to do damage control at a UN convention. The brilliance of Tucker is how he is able to insult people with almost Shakespearian eloquence. I have to warn you, there is a lot of swearing in this show and if you are easily offended this probably won’t be your thing…
Alan Partridge is my secret crush. Created by the brilliant Steve Coogan he is a legendary figure in the UK. Partridge is a middle aged, crap radio and TV presenter who has no self awareness. Every time he opens his mouth he offends someone. He is also based in Norfolk which is where I’m from, so I have a particular soft spot. This clip is actually the trailer from the movie ‘Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa’ that was released last year. It tells you everything you need to know about Alan…
Some mothers do ‘ave ‘em is a TV show from my youth. In my opinion the brilliance of Frank Spencer is without parallel. I don’t really know how to describe him. He is basically incompetent at everything and always getting himself into pickles. He is also extremely lovable. This show has always been able to reduce me to a helpless mess of laughter.
The Exes is about three divorced guys who share an apartment across the hall from their divorce lawyer Holly (played by Kristen Johnston). The show follows their careers and dating disasters. The clip below evolves Kristen’s character being instructed on how to wash a cucumber….It’s the facial expressions that kill me.