Laughter is good for the soul


May 18, 2016
Former Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller (centre) laughs with comedians Ity and Fancy Cat after making a surprise appearance on the stage during their set the the Shaggy and Friends in Concert at Jamaica House earlier this year.

Hey, friends and families, I have to share this niceness wid unnh. Look here nuh, gwaanings a gwaan fi comedians.Yeah, man, the weekend before last was Mother's Day weekend and every comedian that I know was busy doing a paid performance somewhere during the period.

And I had a whale of a time again this past weekend, spending time with a bunch of comedians who were busy working in Florida. Wait, hold on ... ah wonder if it's still cool to say 'a whale of a time'? After all, a whale is like a very fish, don't? And, well, you know how our people can be ignorant. Anyway, as the kids would say in their language-limiting cyber speak, KMT! Yeah, mi nah cater fi shallow and narrow-minded people. I had a whopping, walloping whale of a time.

laugh merchants

Yeah, man! I nearly drowned in the fresh flood of cheerfulness and mirth that prevailed in the weekend of 'kinteet and kinobah'. I was there for an event called Comedy Fest 2016, organised by a lovely lady name Nathalie Holmes, that delivered two side-splitting shows featuring some top notch Jamaican laugh merchants. The line-up featured Ity and Fancy Cat, Christopher 'Johnny' Daley, Leon 'Lemon' Parkins, Rohan Gunter, Audrey 'Dancehall Queen' Reid, and yours truly sharing duties as MC. And, peeps, di people dem turn out in dem numbers, and dem leave wid dem belly full. But the levity and laughter was not limited to the stage. No, iyah! Broad smiles and loud laughs followed us everywhere - from the Sawgrass Grand Hotel where the artistes stayed to the Aunt I's Restaurant, where we gathered for breakfast, to the various shops that were visited. And me nah go even talk 'bout who go to high- end stores at Aventura and Sawgrass Malls as opposed to who visited the 'dollar stores'. I'm not encouraging you to guess either.

beauty of humour

And, hear the thing now: the constant laughter that seemed to follow us and flowed around us was not because anybody was overtly going out of their way to be funny you know. It's just part of the magical and infectious beauty of humour. We don't see our favourite singer in public and start applauding. We never start cheering or bawl out 'goal!' if we buck up a popular athlete or footballer. But sometimes, most times, people see a comedian trying to be normal and going about him business, and dem just start laugh. And you know how it go, if one person starts laughing, another person usually joins in, and it spreads. A couple walked into a restaurant and saw Johnny, Blakka, Lemon, Ity and Fancy Cat having a meal and they started giggling and nudging each other. Another person who was looking and wasn't sure what to do, start laughing too. Wah sweet dem? Mi nuh know! Maybe it's the way Lemon's jawbone 'muscle up' as he chews his food or maybe it's the bold-printed, many-moods-of-Mickey-Mouse shorts set that Fancy Cat was wearing. But every face that turned our way lit up with laughter.

Laughing is good yah peeps. It lifts people's spirit. And the more the merrier. It sweet. It also keeps us healthy and the Bible encourages us to dweet. In our moment of prayer and reflection before the show, Ity - or Pastor Ity as we branded him - reminded us as he prayed, about Proverbs 17 verse 22, that says, "A merry heart does good like a medicine: but a broken spirit dries the bones." It's a passage worth remembering. And the comedy industry is worth encouraging. You can help it too, yuh know. Yeah, don't just grab di free laugh when yuh buck up a comedian outta road. Support di ting comedy show dem too. Ity and Fancy Cat and Maliaka Bryce and Marci Brown alongside Juno Award Winner Kadinal will be turning on some 'Lyrics & Laughter' on Sunday, May 22, in Toronto. Spread the word and give it a strength. And year-to-year comedian, actor and host of Sun City Radio's popular 'Johnny Live Morning Show' Christopher Daley, will be starting a new regular comedy series at Jungle Fyah Restaurant and Lounge in Portmore soon. Look out fi it and support it. And don't stop laugh!

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