I did it. I went to the mecca of improv and sketch comedy. I saw a show at The Second City and it was awesome. At times, my inner comedy and improv geek threatened to burst out and start screaming. But mostly I just laughed a lot. In fact, I laughed so much and so heartily that after the show some dude asked me if I was “the one who was laughing so loud.” I told him that it was probably me, because I love comedy and laughing is my favorite. Below is a more complete response.
Dear Man Sitting a Couple of Rows Ahead of Me,
I hope you enjoyed the show last night. I certainly did. You might have guessed from the volume of my laughter, which was prodigious. That means I was loud. In fact, I laughed so much and so vigorously that I sweated through my cardigan.
I’m not sure if you were trying to be a prick or if you were just accidentally a little bit of a dick. While for the most part it seemed like you took my outbursts in stride, you must have been at least a little pissed off to even speak up. And I would like to not apologize but illuminate the context of the situation and perhaps even inspire you.
Something you should know about me, sir, is that I love comedy. I love it with a dangerous love, a love that has had negative repercussions for my career and for my health. I love it with a love that rivals how you feel about the woman that was with you at the show, with a love greater than the love that Sam had for Frodo. Comedy is my reason for living, my fuel for life, my happy place, my heaven and my favorite dish.
Why do I love comedy so much? Comedy makes me laugh, and laughter brings hope to dark places, opens the doors to new opportunities, brings people together, causes rainbows, and cures cancer. Laughter is saving the world, and I love it. So guess what, friend-o. When I see something funny, I’m going to laugh, and it’s not going to be meek. It’s not going to be restrained and it’s not going to be buckled in or contained in any way. It is going to erupt out of my mouth like an alien from the abdomen, like a herd of bats from a cave or bees from the hive. It’s going to be raw and meaty and real, and you might not be able to handle it.
There is nothing more magical on this earth than sharing a good laugh until you cry with your friends. Laughter is answer and question all in one. It’s a stack of pancakes with the bacon right inside, and it’s a hug from someone you’ve wanted to hug for a long time but weren’t sure if it was appropriate or not. That’s what it is for me.
I’m not sorry for laughing so loud, but I am sorry you couldn’t see what I saw, which was both the show and a woman who scratched her 17-year-old son’s back for two and a half hours straight. Maybe if you’d seen the “Mother, scratcher,” you would have understood.