When it comes to humor, we tend to shy away from many more serious topics. But comedians for years have been breaking those barriers, and some have even shown that you can joke about serious hings in a way that isn’t offensive. One topic that many people, including myself, would have never thought could ever fit into humor is mental health. Many comedians have been using their own experiences with mental health as a way to shed some light on it and make fun of themselves as well. One comedian that did this was Pete Davidson on SNL.
In this particular comedy sketch, he talks about Kevin Love who had posted about his mental health issues. During his whole sketch, Pete tried to shed some light on mental illness as a whole, and did it in a way that is respectful and tasteful. He also has another video on SNL of him talking about how he was recently diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, and did a skit on that as well. Pete Davidson is known for his comedy on SNL, and is also known for his comedy skits regarding mental health. he makes fun of himself while also letting the audience know hat it is still a problem that needs to be taken seriously. But what makes these sketches so funny is the fact that he’s able to take a serious situation and laugh about it which is something many people forget.
Another comedian who touches on this issue of mental illness is John Oliver on his Last Week Tonight show.
In this sketch he talks about how people don’t want to talk about mental illness, and when they do they get it wrong. He first brings up the issue about how every time there’s a school shooting they blame mental illness on it. He also brings up the point that people assume that mental illness consists of “nut jobs” as was shown in the Dr. Phil clip he showed, when in reality most people with mental health issues are not nut jobs and are actually pretty normal. He brings up serious issues and sheds light on them and throws jokes in here and there, making the weight of this topic much lighter. He takes a serious topic and makes it tastefully funny while also spreading awareness which I really liked.
In general, people don’t like to joke about anything that may wind up being offensive, but both of these videos prove that you can spread awareness on serious topics like mental health, and still be funny and make jokes about it. Many people with mental illness, including myself, just want to get through every day in one piece. An to see people actually care, or people with mental illness shedding light on it and are able to make fun of themselves about it makes me feel better. i lets me know that not only am i not alone, but that it’s ok to laugh about it. Pete Davidson even mentions i the video that he likes that he’s able to joke and talk about his mental illness, and doing so helps him cope with it himself and he doesn’t have to hide it anymore. So I say, as long as it’s tasteful, joke away! There’s no harm in laughing at yourself sometimes.