Watching the news these days is not easy; in fact, it vacillates between grim, grimmer, and, oh my God, should we be on the lookout for those Four Horsemen? While nothing can make it all better, there is one thing that, at least for me, helps (okay, two, if you count my friend G.’s amazing chocolate cake with buttercream frosting). The other one is laughing — and I don’t mean just a chuckle. We’re talking full-on, out-of-control laughter that totally takes over the moment and leaves you feeling at least a little bit better.
Here then, is my prescription for laughter. Yes, these are classics. No, you don’t need to be old enough to have seen the originals. Dosage: click on the orange links as needed. Warning: may be addictive.
I Love Lucy reruns — almost any episode, but particularly the chocolate factory and the grape-stomping ones. And don’t miss Lucy Meets Harpo — a whole new level of funny from two masters, this mirror scene is priceless.
Chuckles the Clown — I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The Mary Tyler Moore Show episode with Chuckles the Clown’s funeral is laugh-out-loud material. Just ask Mary.
Young Frankenstein — There’s is so much to roll in the aisles about in this movie (or roll, roll, roll in the hay), like Gene Wilder’s “That’s Dr. Frankensteen,” Cloris Leachman’s turn as Frau Blucher (lock up your horses!), Marty Feldman’s Igor (“What hump?”) and the hysterically funny Madeline Kahn and Teri Garr. My favorite moment — when Dr. Frankenstein and the monster (the wonderful Peter Boyle) sing and dance to “Puttin’ on the Ritz.”
Animal House — Where to begin? Sure, parts are gross, parts are sophomoric, parts are inane. But the whole package is hugely funny (thanks most especially to the comedic brilliance of John Belushi). To-ga.
Life is hard. Laugh harder.
© 2014 Claudia Grossman