This Is Why When The World Gets Dark, We All Crave Comic Relief

If you don't laugh, you'll cry.

There’s no denying that Australia’s been going through some dark times. Major parts of our country have been ravaged by devastating bushfires that have destroyed thousands of hectares of land, homes, businesses and even claimed the lives of many humans and animals.

There is one silver lining to the bushfire crisis, and that is our country’s ability to band together, support each other and most importantly, find a reason to smile in the midst of disaster.

Credit: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Laughing so you don’t cry is something Aussie comedian Simon Taylor is well versed in. Having written for the likes of Jay Leno and Shaun Micallef, Taylor gave the latest episode of It’s Been A Big Day For… some much needed comic relief before he kicks off his national tour next month. Listen to the episode below:

“A laugh sometimes feels like a resolution to something,” Taylor says. “You know an awkwardness is over when you can laugh about it – if you have an uncomfortable moment with someone.”

“Comedy in dark times is an indication that we’re over it,” he added. “Certainly for us, our dark times with us recently have been with the bushfires and a lot of anger directed at our government.”

“At some point, comedians will start going ‘old mate Hawaii boy,’” he said, referring to Scott Morrison’s unfavourable Hawaiian holiday amidst the bushfire crisis. “When people can laugh at it, they’ll know that we’ve moved past the anger stage and it’s resolved at least emotionally.”

“Every comedy show we’ve done in the past month, the profits have gone to bushfire relief,” Taylor said. “Everyone’s getting behind it.” 

He’s not wrong – since the bushfires reached crisis point, Aussie comedian Celeste Barber has single-handedly raised over $50M for bushfire relief, fellow comedian Magda Szubanski and Will ‘Eggboy’ Connelly teamed up to raise funds to cover the costs of victims’ mental health, and there have been countless comedy shows with ticket sales going direct to supporting those who need help the most.

During our chat with Simon Taylor, he also spoke about the fine line between reality and comedy, being a ‘softie’ when it comes to roast jokes, the power of nailing a joke and the importance of ending it on a laugh.

There's A Legit Reason All This Rain Is Easing Your Anxiety

We're currently copping a drenching.

If you’re located in Australia you’d be well aware that buckets of glorious rain are currently smashing our east coast, relieving us from dry, arid conditions contributing to the devastating bushfires that have been ravaging the country for months now. Sadly, the rain isn’t enough to extinguish existing fires, but it’s a welcome change in the weather and there’s a good reason it’s easing our anxiety.

In a Reddit thread from two years ago, hundreds of users found common ground in the fact that bad weather – and rain, in particular – can soothe symptoms of anxiety.

One user commented, “When it’s bad weather outside you kinda can’t do anything. There are no obligations to do stuff, you can just be inside being you and no one will question why you are not outside doing stuff.”

It’s true, but there’s also a psychological reason crappy weather is super calming. According to a 2017 report from Vice, “the closest clinical concept psychologists have for this preference for dour weather is reverse season affective disorder or ‘summer depression.’”

“The brain naturally craves sensory input,” therapist Kimberly Hershenson told Vice. “Rain produces a sound akin to white noise. The brain gets a tonic signal from white noise that decreases this need for sensory input, thus calming us down.”

Another interesting take is from Laurel Steinberg, a psychotherapist and professor at Columbia University, who said “stormy weather reminds people that the world is made up of forces bigger than they are, which makes their woes pale in comparison.”

There’s nothing like the heavens opening up to give us a little reality check. Perhaps it’s a combination of all of the above – the white noise, the joy of missing out of post-holiday obligations and the realisation that mother nature is incredibly powerful.

Either way, I’m 100% here for the rains if it helps even to slightly ease the fires that have had such a devastating impact on so many Australian communities and lives.

Pop-up Channel

Follow Us