The Importance of Humour

Living in a conservative, practical-minded and serious Asian family leaves little room for humour. My encounter with humour as a growing child was limited to “Just for Laughs” and “America’s Funniest Home Videos”. Occasionally, my father who is possibly the only humorous one in my family, would crack a joke that only I would laugh to. 

Then one grows up and watches Anchorman, Borat, Tropic Thunder, etc. and even begin to like Amy Schumer. What I’m saying is, it is great to laugh and not take life too seriously. It is in fact, important for survival, especially for people who are going through hard times in life. 

In the moving mini documentary of people suffering from Usher Syndrome, Danny showed his incredible sense of humour. As he suffered from tunnel vision, his perception was limited to a small rectangular frame. He described it as looking through two cardboard toilet rolls.  Despite his condition, he made the following hilarious comments about the time when President Clinton requested to taste his cajun cooking:

“The secret service came in and checked me all out, and made sure that I didn’t put in too much spices or to burn it. Now I forgot to put the tabasco sauce in the basket and I didn’t know whether the president liked it spicy or not, so I made it mild. And finally in the distance, we saw three great big black limos, and up on the buildings there were all these sharp shooters and they were pointing their guns at us. They came to the airplane. When President Clinton got out, he shook my hand. President Clinton has got a really big head, and he’s a tall, tall guy and he told me he loved cajun food.”

In a conversation on using the sense of smell instead of sight, he brought up a funny example:

“There was this woman who was losing her vision and she had the keenest sense of smell. It was funny because there was this one time she gave a person a hug and she smelled him, and then she gave another person a hug… and through her sense of smell, she realised that these two persons were having a sexual relationship.”

If persons suffering from disabilities can be humorous, we ought not to take our lives too seriously and learn to laugh at ourselves. 


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