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Everyone has a different sense of humor. Some may have a dark sense of humor, a dry one, or even a cheesy one. Regardless, everyone has one. But making people laugh? It takes a special kind of person to twist everyday happenings into a bevy of laughs. Comedy takes a certain level of intelligence and wit, it isn’t for everybody. Trevor Noah is indeed one of these people. He sits at the helm of the Daily Show, commanding audiences with his well-timed jokes, and intellectual humor. Last night, I had the privilege of attending one of his shows. And I was not disappointed.
These days, it is difficult muster a laugh, or even crack a smile, from all the negativity around us. Mass shootings, genocides, political disasters, it all becomes too much sometimes. We all forget to smile, or even think about a moment of happiness. People often focus too heavily on the bad aspects of their lives, of the world. This is why I love comedians. They have an innate ability to make people howl with laughter when they may not have a reason to. Studies have even shown, that even just a moment of laughter or smiling, increases oxytocin levels in the body. People just feel better, and a whole lot lighter.
Yesterday, I was waiting in the audience for Trevor Noah to make his appearance, all I could think about were my upcoming exams and the accompanying fear I had, that I would not perform well. As soon as he cracked the first joke, I could feel my sadness melt away. One joke, a bevy of laughs, and I forgot about my concerns.I think that’s why such comedians do it. They want to bring back a little color into people’s lives, and help them smile just a little bit brighter.
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As I mentioned before, comedy takes a certain degree of intellectual prowess. Jokes have to be well-timed, it’s all about the timing, as a matter of fact. Sometimes, it’s easy to disregard the value of comedy. But last night, I was able to appreciate it for what it’s worth: a way to remember the joy and laughter in life, however little may exist.
What really astounded me about last night, was how Trevor Noah pulled humor out of our nation’s political disaster, and managed to relay some important life lessons at the same time. Like I often do, he ragged on Trump, but in a smart way. I recall him saying, that he “wakes up in the morning knowing something bad may happen, but the second reason, is that [he] always has a reason to laugh because of Trump.” In all honesty, in his 8 months in office, Trump’s actions as president are ridiculous, and downright laughable. Based off of that one quip, he launched into a series of jokes about the current administration, while also inserting some truth about Trump and his presidency. According to Trevor, “Trump wants president, but he doesn’t want to do president,” indicating how Trump just wants the title, and not the actual duties of a president.
Besides his jokes and quips about Trump, Trevor also addressed the issue of racism and immigration, with a humorous, yet truthful twist. Racism-related violence has spiked over the few months Trump has been in office. But as pointed out by Trevor, it wasn’t because of Trump. These days, it is easy to blame a president who openly discriminates against racial minorities, but it is not entirely his fault. Racism has always been present in the United States, it is an unfortunate part of the foundation upon which this nation was built. If anything, racial tensions have been exacerbated by the election of Trump to the presidential seat.
I could go on and on about Trevor Noah’s comedic prowess, but that would take way too long. Compartmentalizing important national issues into twists of humor and a bevy of laughs, is a difficult feat to accomplish. It’s all those things that people constantly worry about; politics, immigration, racial tensions. But somehow, comedians are able to find the humor and smiles within all that negativity. Even within daily struggles and menial problems, there’s always a laugh to be found. And that is what I appreciate the most about comedy; the ability to melt away the darkness, and bring light into someone’s world, however temporary it may be.