A ring! A roaring crowd! Two competitors!…But nary a punch thrown? What WAS this?
It was the first televised laughing competition!
During October 2010, Canal D broadcast an event of combative hilarity. In front of spectators and viewers at home, the laugh-off pit pairs of guffawers to spar. Awards were given to the longest and most contagious chuckler. The international community soon caught the giggles. Tokyo, California, the Czech Republic, and Austria (ach!) fell in with Ha Ha Ha! The competition moved swiftly from country to country. Who was behind it all? Canadian filmmaker Albert Nerenberg created the event, the broadcast, and a movie.
The brutality of sports like ultimate fighting dismayed Nerenburg. Yet he was fascinated by how the nearness and eye contact at the beginning of a fight could take a completely different direction. His look into the impact of laughter had changed his life, and Nerenburg's thought inspired a dream. Canadian channel Canal D humored his proposal for a laughing competition. One silly scheme come to fruition, Nerenberg next hopes for an international laughter competition.
This story was reported by the Toronto Sun, Wednesday July 27, 2010.
I'd like to share a bit of my experience with standup comedy. Having done standup for a dozen years, I've watched a lot of people try to make it work and fail. And I have a secret for you. It's the number one reason why people succeed in standup. In anything. You won't believe it. You're going to say that it's too simple. That there's got to be some other magic ingredient… talent, or charisma… but the truth is that the number one ingredient to success in comedy is PERSISTENCE with the INTENTION TO SUCCEED. If you don't persist with absolute determination, you will have a very difficult time getting past the challenges that come up, and they are numerous.
Ann Randolph is a briliant and inspiring solo performer, comic actor, writer, and teacher in the theater world. I first saw her show Squeezebox at The Marsh a couple of years ago and last year saw her new show, Loveland this last year. Her work is honest, imaginative, and quirky, with liberal doses of subversiveness and whimsy. I've been working on a new book about solo performance and comedy and Ann was at the top of my list of people to interview.
Just wrote about comic actor and solo performer Ann Randolph for my other blog–check this awesome interview I did with her!
In my last post, Part 1 of 7 on writing solo shows, I spoke about discovering the Central Moment that your show pivots on. You did free-writing about this pivotal moment and you held it close to your bosom.
Here's part two of seven….
I'm just watching this great TED Talk with Tim Brown on creativity. He's the CEO of Innovation and Design at IDEO and has some amazing information to share about creativity, mescaline, prototyping toys, preschool, the loss of playful thinking that happens through formal education. It's got me buzzing!