When I find myself frustrated with the things that come my way, there are always two places I go. First, I go to the word of God; secondly, I go to God’s gift to the world — comedy. God must have a sense of humor; just look at all the great things he gives us to laugh at.
When I was little, I always looked forward to “The Red Skelton Show.” When the network finally took it off, I remember being very upset. I remember literally rolling in the floor and laughing, ‘til it hurt, at the routines and characters of this master entertainer.
As a musician, the craftsmanship of musical comedy by Victor Borge still fascinates me.
These skilled conveyors of mirth made me and millions of others laugh without bad language, lewd comments or off-color humor.
So many people have made me feel better in my life with just a few minutes of their artistry.
The situation comedies that I have seen a thousand times still can take me away and lighten my heart, shows like “The Beverly Hillbillies.” The network did not envision the impact those characters would have on America and the world. I am blessed to know Donna Douglas “Elly Mae Clampett.” She and Buddy Ebsen, Max Baer, Jr., and Irene Ryan have brought me endless hours of feeling good.
Irene Ryan’s “Granny” became so much a part of my childhood that her real life passing affected me as if she was a member of my family. I still have the newspaper clipping in my Bible after all these years.
She had worked a lifetime enjoying many successes, but it was not until God opened the door for her to play “Granny” that she lifted millions around the world out of their problems for a few minutes a day. I just have to think about some of the outlandish things that she, the Hillbillies and their support cast did to bring me out of the doldrums.
Saturday nights at seven at our house were the “Hee Haw” hour. It would be impossible to list all the wonderful cast members of that show.
Grandpa Jones, Minnie Pearl, Junior Samples, Archie Campbell, Gordy Tapp, Roni Stoneman and the entire cast could take the corniest routines and bring them life. They made Saturdays at seven something to look forward to.
I would be remiss not to mention the comedy talent of all the cast of “The Andy Griffith Show.” Don Knotts’ unique ability to take the simplest sentence or reaction and make it funny is an amazement. If there were comedic actors like that today, new television comedies might be worth watching.
I enjoyed “Frazier” too; those actors truly are superb with the material the writers give them, but I still would rather see Andy, Opie and all the gang.
I was once told that as an entertainer it is our job to take folks away from their problems, whether with a three-minute song, an hour-long television show or a live appearance.
I hope that my walk down memory lane with some of my favorite comedy people may have helped you think of something that makes you laugh, and thus makes you feel a whole lot better. I know I do.