Bring on the funny
The month of April is known for many observances — April Fool’s Day, Easter, Joey Lawrence’s birthday (and mine), the pot smoker’s 4/20 holiday. The latter also falling on my birthday.
I remember how awkward it was explaining to my mom why so many people in Colorado love celebrating my big day.
April is also National Humor Month, seemingly appropriate considering the first and the 20th can be laughter-inducing. The 15th, however, can be quite the opposite. So it’s only appropriate to take a whole month to focus on funny stuff.
I’m hoping that spills over into May.
Old-school stand-up comic and humorist Larry Wilde founded National Humor Month in 1976, when I was celebrating my fourth April on this earth. That’s when I thought knock-knock jokes were hilarious. At 87, he has sold more than 12 million books that include joke book titles published in the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s probably not considered PC in this day and age.
It’s funny how sensitive society has become when it comes to comedy.
South African comic Trevor Noah, Jon Stewart’s replacement on “The Daily Show,” can attest to that. Within 24 hours of the “Daily Show” announcement, he was under fire for jokes he tweeted five years ago that now have him labeled as a racist and sexist. He is a comic, and it has opened up a controversial discussion on what is funny.
I wonder what the world would be like if Twitter existed in the 1970s.
According to humormonth.com, National Humor Month was created to celebrate the joyful and therapeutic value of laughter and how it can “improve health, boost morale, increase communication skills and enrich the quality of one’s life.” I’m all for a morale boosters.
Especially during tax season.
Laughing is probably the easiest way I can think of to lighten my spirit and brighten my mood. April Fools’ Day this week was a nice start to National Humor Month — although I had my fill of dudes saying they were pregnant on Facebook after about the fourth post. Since I use Facebook for networking as much as entertainment, many of my Facebook friends also happen to be comics.
Luckily my feed leans more toward the funny side.
My favorite April Fools’ Day joke this year was from Hippieman, a comic from Boulder I met a few years back covering the Aspen Rooftop Comedy Festival. He wrote, “I’m gonna tell knock-knock jokes for the rest of my career. Really safe knock-knock jokes. I might throw in a few balloon animals once in awhile, sans genitalia.”
I know any balloon animal I’ve ever attempted is nothing short of funny.
Marketing departments sometimes get in on the fun of April Fools’ Day, although the pranks have to be clever and humorous enough not to turn people off to their products.
My favorite marketing prank this year, which I shared on my own Facebook page, was from Windex brand glass cleaner. They posted a product announcement on April Fools’ Day for the “new” product, Windex Original with Glitter.
The tagline was, “For a clean that literally sparkles.”
I actually love glitter. There should be more of it in the world. That lends to a fairly harmless prank idea for next year for anyone who can’t let a window with fingerprints remain without cleaning it. Add some glitter to an existing bottle of window cleaner, apply sticky fingers to glass in a high-traffic area, then watch the hijinks ensue. Just be prepared to see remnants of the glitter prank hanging around well into future April Fools’ Days. Especially in the carpet and on the face, specifically the cheek area.
It’s the joke that keeps on giving.
April E. Clark picked three of the four teams in this weekend’s NCAA’s Final Four tournament and now thinks she’s a clairvoyant. No joke. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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Questlove’s directorial debut, the documentary “Summer of Soul” brings to vivid life the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival with previously unseen footage of Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly and the Family Stone and others. Aspen Film and Jazz Aspen Snowmass will host a drive-in preview on Sunday.