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Stand-up Comedy Made Me Realize to Not Take Life So Seriously

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

There came a point when I was completely done with watching a bunch of sitcoms and TV dramas. Of course, some shows are really enjoyable to watch from time to time; they are able to help me escape to completely different worlds when I am stressed out or when I want to get my mind off of things that are bothering me. However, there are just some days where I want to watch something that can keep me grounded and that focuses on the current events that are going on in the world today.

I had many of those kinds of days throughout quarantine, and stand-up comedy surprisingly was what I watched to fulfill my change in interests. It became that genre that helped me to not take life so seriously and to be hopeful that life would get better. Watching stand-up comedy became a way for me to understand that we were all in the same boat and were dealing with the world’s problems together, no matter how different we are.

I think one of the shows that got me into stand-up comedy was Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. In the show, Jerry Seinfeld does interviews with a ton of comedians. Almost every episode brings out a casual and welcoming vibe for the audience to just listen to two comedians talk about whatever they want. Every single comedian is from a different walk of life and is opinionated. They know how to communicate their ideas and beliefs in ways that make people laugh, while also challenging people to think differently. The show helped me harness respect for comedians, and it guided me to understand which comedians I would want to watch in stand-ups. 

Watching a stand-up is a way for me to challenge my fixed mentality on topics that I take too seriously, since comedians and their stand-up shows are great examples of how to open people’s eyes to new perspectives that maybe not everyone agrees with. Also, when you find a comedian that is really good at what they do, watching their stand-ups is super entertaining.

One comedian that I thought was hilarious and who was interviewed in Seinfeld’s show is Trevor Noah. He is an amazing storyteller and is able to weigh out the seriousness of a certain situation he is talking about with the comedy he brings up in his storytelling. Trevor knows how to talk about topics like racism, politics, and nationalism without making it feel uncomfortable or tense. When you watch any of his stand-ups, you can tell that his comedy lightens up the mood so that the audience is more receptive to what he has to say about what’s going on in the world. He always made me feel hopeful, and his comedy helps me stay calm by reassuring me that the world is capable of learning from its mistakes. 

Comedians remind me that there are ways of understanding and learning from negative information instead of stressing over it. If we didn’t have comedians in this world, I honestly don’t know how anyone would be able to deal with the problems that we have in the world today. I admire how much effort they put into their craft to not only make people laugh, but to make us learn and feel hopeful about the future.

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Sapna Parihar

U Mass Amherst '23

Sapna is a member of the University of Massachusetts Amherst chapter from the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a junior majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Psychology. Sapna is excited to continue writing about wellness and anything else that revolves around her passions. Her interests include dancing, crocheting, listening to R&B and Pop, and reading self-help books.