Where Are The Kings Of Comedy?

Where are the laughs to enlighten a sober nation? The terrorist acts of September 11, 2001 did more than topple two buildings and destroy thousands of lives. It robbed a nation of humor.

A nation without humor is without laughter. Where there is less laughter, there are fewer smiles.

Where are the Kings of Comedy? Where are the nightly humorists of years past? Where is my extended entertainment family to bring comfort and solace?

I fear they’ve gone, perhaps afar, perhaps forever.

I could always count on Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor to provide warmth and family in Home Improvement each week, then daily in years of re-runs.

Who better to stir water cooler conversations than weekly episodes of Seinfeld (…it rhymes with Dolores)?

Cheers brought us the lesson that we want to go where everyone knows our name. Have we forgotten so soon?

I grew up with Opie, Barney, Andy and Aunt Bee on The Andy Griffith Show, not weekly, but in years of reruns which taught me that humor is in the heart, smiles come from the heart.

Today we’re faced with a constant barrage of the serious, in proportions as dangerous as any alcohol or tobacco addiction.

Television swams with what’s late breaking, new developing stories, and news situations which demand, commands, and won’t stand for anything less than our undivided attention.

No one at CNN smiles anymore.

What could once be counted on as a welcome respite from the stress and strains of a hectic day, the situation comedy now lingers near death.

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Filling the comedic void is a string of CSI this and CSI that. What’s next? The CSI Peoria Vice Unit?

Worse are the semi-reality shows which have blossomed worse than terrorist acts on the world stage.

We’re a nation besieged by the serious, stalked by the opportunity of success, yet sentenced to view rewards given to others. We attempt to escape our humorless lives by a route with no escape, and no humor.

Where is Les Nessman when we need his bespectacled bewilderment, his ridiculously serious hog reports, and the surety of his weekly band-aid location?

Where are those souls of mirth and madness in media who inspired thoughtful considerations of exaggerated events which made our own lives seem less crusty and cold?

Where are the Kings of Comedy?

Editor’s NoteBefore her death, Tera passed along her personal journal. It is filled with hundreds of comments, essays, observations, and perspectives on every subject matter. As time permits, I will edit and publish select journal entries for Tera Talks. —Alexis Kayhill