Can Comedy Be Comfortable? One Question, Seven Humorists

Here’s something fun I had the privilege to be involved with: ending a sentence with a preposition. Just kidding. Thanks to Editor and Chief Semicolon Advocate Michelle W. for inviting me to pitch in.

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Comedy is often deeply unsettling, making us squirm even while we laugh. Whether we’re watching someone tumble down a flight of stairs after slipping on a banana peel (it’s a classic for a reason!) or listening to a comic’s pointed commentary on racism, humor pushes boundaries.

Is discomfort an essential part of comedy, or just one way to be funny? We asked seven of our favorite humorists for their take on the question: can comedy ever be comfortable?


“A Little Discomfort Makes You More Comfortable”

ML PhilpottML Philpott is founding editor of literary journal Musing and the author of Penguins With People ProblemsShe pokes fun at life and media on I Miss You When I Blink, and tweets @WhenIBlink.

Think about what it feels like to be tickled — physically tickled by another person. That poke to your ribs sets you giggling, and after that laugh you might feel relaxed…

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