Monday, October 3, 2011

You Just Have to Laugh

At a recent event, I had the opportunity to watch the documentary, You Just Have to Laugh. This comedic documentary was appropriately put together by a comedian, David Naster. The impetus behind making the film was apparently a show Naster did in a church in Kansas. Afterward, a man came up and thanked Naster, saying that it had been the first time he had laughed since his son had died.

From there, Naster began exploring the topic of how we use laughter to get through the tough times. In his documentary, he interviews many different people in difficult situations, such as a gentleman with MS, a firefighter who was severely burned, people with tourettes syndrome. One interview was of a psychiatrist with a stutter talking about his experiences working a suicide hotline. Another is of a concentration camp survivor talking about the humor they found in the most horrible tasks. (The documentary points out that we may not find all these experiences funny but if it helps one cope with such a horrible situation, it was funny to them.)

Below is a video clip of Naster talking about his philosophy on laughter and death. Working on a hospice team, this really struck a cord with me.

Naster has also written books on this topic, the most recent Is there Laugh after Death? looks at stories of hospice workers and families of dying patients.

While I don't think Naster's documentary is widely available, it appears to be available at his website.

1 Responses to “You Just Have to Laugh”

Judy Dobson said...
October 4, 2011 at 9:48 AM

Here's on I love.....

Please join me in remembering a great icon. Veteran Pillsbury spokesperson,
The Pillsbury Doughboy, died yesterday of a severe yeast infection and complications from repeated pokes to the belly.
He was 71. Doughboy was buried in a slightly greased coffin. Dozens of celebrities turned out,
including Mrs. Butterworth, the California Raisins, Hungry Jack, Betty Crocker,
the Hostess Twinkies, Captain Crunch and many others.
The graveside was piled high with flours as long-time friend, Aunt Jemima,
delivered the eulogy, describing Doughboy as a man who "never knew how much he was kneaded." 


Doughboy rose quickly in show business, but his
later life was filled with many turnovers. He was not considered a very smart cookie, wasting
much of his dough on half-baked schemes. Despite being a little flaky at
times, even as a crusty old man, he was still considered a roll model for

Toward the end it was thought he'd raise once again, but he was no tart. 

Doughboy is survived by his second wife, Play Dough. They have
two children and one in the oven. The funeral was held at 3:50 for
20 minutes.