I’ve always been a Monty Python fan. Of course growing up male in the 70s, liking Monty Python and being able to quote most of the sketches line for line was a badge of honor among my friends and me. I got to the point where I could pick up just about any sketch just by someone repeating one line.
I even went so far as to create and run a Monty Python D&D dungeon that I ran at a major gaming convention for two years. I wrote songs and sketches and had a great time. I think it was the first time I really realized how much I enjoyed entertaining other people. It’s probably the main reason I like telling jokes and making people laugh.
Making people laugh is as much of an antidepressant as any of the other medications I’ve ever tried. Robin Williams had a great explanation for why this happens:
“I think the saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy. Because they know what it’s like to feel absolutely worthless and they don’t want anyone else to feel like that.”
My own experience is that I’m funnier when I’m feeling depressed. I always seem to come up with my best ideas then. I don’t know if it’s a matter of my brain self medicating or if it’s a matter of the connections that make for humor being loosened up because I’m busy focusing on how lousy I feel.