Make em Laugh
Steve Martin and Others

Glenorchy, Australia

#1 Jun 26, 2011
I’d had a long day. I’d had my evening sleep to recover from the demands of the day on my psyche. Even though I have now been retired from the anxieties of a job for more than a decade(1999 to 2011) and am in what is sometimes called the evening of my life, my psyche can be and is often stretched to its limit without too much trouble.
By midnight I’ve nearly always had a minimum of at least four hours of reading and research, writing and editing---and sometimes as many as eight. As I consumed by late-night snack, I chanced upon an ABC2 television program entitled: Make 'Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America. It was sub-titled Would Ya Hit a Guy with Glasses?/Nerds, Jerks & Oddballs.1

From the early pioneers to the most biting satire on television today, this TV program featured some of the funniest moments in American entertainment including: Charlie Chaplin, Lucille Ball, Cheech and Chong, Woody Allen, Steve Martin and Robin Williams. Most of this comedy was on the periphery of my life, although the funny-side of life moved to the centre as I moved from Canada to Australia, and from young to late adulthood, from the age of 20 to 65.-Ron Price with thanks to 1ABC2, 11:40pm - 12:38am, Saturday, 25 June 2011.

I did not really get into laughing
until I moved to Australia where
laugher is just about compulsory
with that cynical-beneath-surface
mentality that I have come to see
as part of a survival kit. Humour
is the main thing I’ve learned in the
last 40 years living here Downunder.

It helps to give a balance to serious
stuff that has been bread-and-butter
for me in the arts and sciences away
back---as far I can remember---after
playing and having fun occupied my
time in those childhood years, and as
I got into religion1 and politics2 by a
series of sensible & insensible degrees
from my adolescent years to those of my
young adulthood: twenty to forty years old.

1 My parents, especially my mother, had eclectic religious tastes and by the time I was 15 I had attended many religious groups and joined the Baha’i Faith.
2 My interest in politics became, by my mid-teens, non-partisan, having been inoculated against party politics by the experience of having political meetings in our home. The Baha’i Faith was a non-partisan religion. My study of politics at university was mainly academic as was my teaching of the subject from the 1970s to the 2000s.

Ron Price
26 June 2011

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