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The Theology of “Ha!”

April 4, 2021 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Is there a relationship between comedy and the divine? (Here you say “Are you nuts?”) But hang on, maybe there is. Both start with a premise: one, that there’s an all-powerful, omniscient being who watches over the world; the other, that a priest, a rabbi, and a gecko would walk into a bar. In comedy, accept the premise and you get a laugh – in religion, accept the higher power and you get eternal life, emotional support, and answers to all questions. (This may explain why there are more religious people than stand-ups.) This talk uses “Animal House,” Steve Carell, “Waiting For Godot,” Walt Disney and the novel “The Name of the Rose” to discuss whether comedy is fundamentally cruel or empathetic; how religion’s search for meaning has a corollary in comedy’s search for a punchline; how laughter is like religious ecstasy and transcendence; and how to achieve divinity through fart jokes. Seriously.

Zoom meeting ID: 384 422 5785


April 4, 2021
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Event Category:




David Misch
David Misch is an author (“Funny: The Book,” “A Beginner’s Guide To Corruption”), screenwriter (“Mork & Mindy,” “Saturday Night Live,” “The Muppets Take Manhattan”), teacher (his own courses on comedy at USC and musical satire at UCLA) and lecturer (Yale, the Smithsonian, Oxford University, University of Sydney, Raindance Film Festival (London), Austin Film Festival, American Film Institute, Lucasfilm, Sony Pictures, Walt Disney Studios, Second City, Actors Studio). His play “Occupied” is in development at the Skylight Theatre in Los Angeles. More at davidmisch.com.