Comedy, Chris Farley, and the Relentless Clever Enemy

I love humor.  As a kid, I dreamed of making a living using humor.  I grew up trying to catch a glimpse of Johnny Carson and David Letterman, and later Conan O'Brien.  I ate up SNL when guys like Adam Sandler, Chris Farley, Dana Carvey, and Mike Myers ran the show.  I always defaulted to watching movie comedies over any other genre.  Why?  Because I love to laugh and appreciate the value of humor in life.

My close friends and family know this about me.  However, its not something that I frequently advertise as an adult, especially in my line of work which essentially forces me to be focused and serious a lot of the time.  With that said, there are moments in which I can sprinkle in some humor.  I think that's a huge part of the reason I've searched for creative outlets in my calling of being a full-time minister of the gospel.  Whether it be writing a television show, creating goofy rap videos, or spoofing life, I've always enjoyed the idea of making others laugh and finding joy.


I want you to know where I'm coming from as I write this post.  No, I'm not a professional comedian.  Honestly, I probably couldn't do what comedians do.  Some of them are extremely talented, and are outstanding story tellers.  But, humor is a huge part of my life.  To a fault, I choose humor over every other emotion, 90% of the time.  To be honest with you, I gravitate to humor because its what I desire to be....always joyful.  I gravitate to humor because its the most comfortable of the emotions for me to run to.  

Here's my secret.  To most (even to my family and friends), I don't wear emotions often.  But truthfully, I'm an extremely emotional, nostalgic, and sappy person.  I just often push that emotion into the guise of humor.

With that said, I have sympathy for those in this world who use comedy and humor as a mask.  Its not that they are trying to deceive and lie to the world.  I believe in many cases that people gravitate to humor because it is also what they desire to have in their lives.

Adam Sandler wrote a tribute song to the late Chris Farley and sung it on Saturday Night Live this week.  The song was moving and emotional, in a silly sort of way.  A few things caught my attention though.  In the song, Sandler sings about catching Chris Farley listening to KC and the Sunshine Band one day and crying over it.  When Sandler asked Farley about it, Farley simply said that it reminded him of his dad.  Chris Farley was clearly a man who loved people, valued relationships, and was filled with emotion and nostalgia.

Like other comedians before him, John Belushi and John Candy, he used humor to try and make a pathway to joy because he loved life and wanted others to have happiness too.  However great that sounds, it was still a misguided journey, ultimately leading to his early death.  

Why was it misguided?  Well, because humor can produce joy and happiness, but only for a short time.  It can produce a blanket over the other emotions, but not forever.  The reality is that while life can beautiful, it can also be ugly, tragic, horrific, and heartbreaking.

God gifted mankind with humor.  "A joyful heart is good medicine," Proverbs 17:22.  "A glad heart makes a cheerful face." Proverbs 15:13. Ecclesiastes 3:4 reminds us that there is an appointed "time to laugh".  However, like all blessings that God has given us, we can't worship them.

We can't worship laughter.  We can't worship our families.  We can't worship wealth.  We can't worship sex.  We can't worship power.  We can't worship the earth.

Only God is worthy of worship.  Pursuit of the lesser will only end in our disappointment.

I truly believe this why we have seen some of the funniest and seemingly most joyful people in life meet a tragic end. (i.e. the late Robin Williams)  When the pursuit of joy through laughter inevitably proved futile, disappointment was found. 

God is the source of joy.

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope." Romans 15:13

Unfortunately, evil is clever.  Evil can easily disguise itself in well-meaning and well-intentioned emotions and people.  Evil can reside in the heart of a "good" person and steer them completely away from the things that truly are good.  

My heart aches a little extra for those who love humor like I do.  I know that they love life.  I know that they love people.  I know that they want others to be happy and that they want peace.  But, when they come to grips with the reality that they will never see it, that's when they realize they're lost.

I would never see peace and joy without God's intervention.  I believe that's why I so often jump on a soapbox when it comes to finding joy through a relationship with Christ.  Its the humor-pursuing part of me that craves that joy, and I know there's only one place to truly find it. 

I will probably never stop gravitating to humor.  I will always look for the funny line when things are going wrong.  I will probably always try to laugh instead of shedding a tear.  But make no mistake, its not because humor is the pathway to joy.  Jesus is the pathway! 

And ultimately, that is where I'm finding my comfort, my strength, and my relief when life hits hard.