No Laughter Yoga for Fido.

Dog-bedThink us humans are the only ones who need comedy in our lives?  Turns out animals have neural circuits for laughter in the ancient parts of the brain, that predate even the existence of humans! There was laughter even before there was people.

Recent studies are debunking the theory that animals don't feel joy or sorrow.  "Indeed, neural circuits for laughter exist in very ancient regions of the brain, and ancestral forms of play and laughter existed in other animals eons before we humans came along with our 'ha-ha-has' and verbal repartee," says Jaak Panksepp, a neuroscientist at Bowling Green State University.

A recent study suggests that animals from rats to monkeys partake in joy and laughter that very much resembles a humans joy and laughter. Monkeys chase each other and pant in ways that resemble a humans laugh, even rats, as they play chirp in ways that resemble our very own giggles.  They actually found that–no joke–rats might be into Sid Caesar.

"Although no one has investigated the possibility of rat humor, if it exists, it is likely to be heavily laced with slapstick," Panksepp figures. "Even if adult rodents have no well-developed cognitive sense of humor, young rats have a marvelous sense of fun."

Panksepp says more studies need to be conducted in order to really tell if these behaviors are truly an animal's way of expressing laughter, but laughter could be a deep seeded brian function that not only exists in humans, but in the animals around us as well.

So, no need to take your dog to laughter yoga with you, he's already laughing at you–I mean, with you.

Check out Cinnabar’s Solo Mio Festival

Johnny Steele in Solo MioA theatrical showcase festival of solo performance artists



I highly recommend checking out Clark Taylor and Johnny Steele here–two great (and may I say unsung) heros of San Francisco comedy.  And, for full disclosure, also buddies of mine.  It's great that we're getting so much solo show work happening in the Bay Area–especially from standups.  We're so good at being on stage, and often have so much more to offer by adding a story arc that glues our jokes together like a sturdy arc over the stormy waters of the stage.


Cinnabar's Solo Mio Festival illuminates the compelling nature of solo performance that exists between one performer onstage and the audience, celebrating the beauty and immediacy of story-telling in this theatrical showcase spotlighting comedians and solo performers Fred Curchack, Will Durst, Dave Pokorny, Johnny Steele and Clark Taylor. 


Will Durst – 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28; 
Dave Pokorny – 6:30 p.m. and Clark Taylor 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29; 
Johnny Steele -  6:30 p.m. and  Will Durst 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30;
Clark Taylor -  5 p.m. and Dave Pokorny 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 31;
Dave Pokorny – 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4; 
Fred Churchack – 6:30 p.m. and Johnny Steele 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5; 
Dave Pokorny – 6:30 p.m. and Clark Taylor 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6; 
Frech Churchack – 2 p.m., Johnny Steele 5 p.m. and Will Durst 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 7;
Fred Churchack – 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 11; 
Will Durst – 6:30 p.m. and Fred Churchack 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12; 
Clark Taylor – 6:30 p.m. and Johnny Steele 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13.


Single Tickets: $25 per person. 
All Five Shows: $100 per person. Four-Show Pass: $85 person. Three-Show Pass: $68 per person.


LOCATION:   Cinnabar Theater, 3333 Petaluma Blvd. North, Petaluma, CA


PHONE:   707-763-8920 
Order tickets by telephone 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday or purchase at the door. 
Reservations highly recommended.

 Dave Pokorny - Based On A True Story

A (mostly) true journey of one man’s life as he attempts to procrastinate finding his calling.
For a full decade Dave Pokorny toured the U.S. as a working stand-up comic, however after his first daughter was born he no longer wanted to tell jokes to strangers in bars for money.  After seven years as a stay-at-home dad he still doesn’t want to just tell jokes, but he’s realized he has a lot more to say than, “Hey, put that down…leave your sister alone…because I said so that’s why…and pick that up!”
Johnny Steele - Johnny’s Inferno
Fast talking, semi-improvisational, sometimes controversial, always funny.
Johnny Steele is an entertainer best known for his fast talking, semi-improvisational, sometimes controversial, comedy performances. Johnny, a former winner of the San Francisco International Comedy Competition, is also a former bay area radio and television host. Currently Johnny is working on a solo show and The BOOMERS! a three-man skit and sketch comedy revue about coming of age in the sixties and seventies.
Clark Taylor - Mad'Ville
A mad romp through junior high school and small town life in Louisiana in the 1960’s and 70’s.
Clark is a long time storyteller and stand up comedian in the Bay Area.  He worked as a screenwriter in LA and earned a Masters in US History from San Francisco State before returning to the stage.  He recently completed work on an environmental documentary entitled Deep Green slated for a September 2009 release. He currently resides in Fairfield, California.