“A tragedy is a tragedy, and at the bottom, all tragedies are stupid. Give me a choice and I’ll take A Midsummer Night’s Dream over Hamlet every time. Any fool with steady hands and a working set of lungs can build up a house of cards and then blow it down, but it takes a genius to make people laugh.”
? Stephen King
Vegans as a species can be pretty comical – if you can stand back far enough to get a good look at one (or yourself). Sometimes, you need others to point out your foibles and give you a good laugh. Who are the people who tickle your funny bone, bust your gut, and make rice milk come out your nose?
When I need a quick comedy fix, I head for the cartoons. Get Fuzzy is a great strip that chronicles the adventures of Bucky T. Katt, Satchel Pooch, and their frazzled, vegetarian-sometimes-vegan person, Rob. Cartoonist Darby Conley’s occasional jibes at vegans are hilarious – and often generate equally funny commentary from my non-vegan friends.
Edgier, with an absurdist vibe, is the one-panel daily, Bizarro, drawn by Dan Piraro. He tackles health, environmental, and animal issues from obtuse angles in ways simultaneously funny and thought-provoking. If you ever get a chance, see his one-man show. Caroline and I were gasping for air during his performance at Vegetarian Summerfest.
If you’re feeling a little too self-righteous about your vegan lifestyle, let me suggest a pair of short (1 min) videos: “S**t Vegans Say” and “More S**t Vegans Say” by Ari Solomon. To paraphrase Jeff Foxworthy, “you might be a vegan” if you recognize some quotes from the videos as your own. Let me know if you find yourself laughing at them in that self-conscious, I-would-never-say-that kind of way.
For a reading respite, see “My Diet”, by Demetri Martin. It’s an excerpt from his book, “This is a Book”. Follow his transformation from “Omnivore” to “Vegetarian” to “Constipated Vegetarian” to “Vegan” to “Las Vegan” and beyond. For more of the same, catch his skit show, Important Things, on Comedy Central
Of course, the big daddy of all skit shows is Saturday Night Live. What other venue could bring together music, dancing, tofu, and a Timberlake (Justin, that is). In a battle of street vendors, I took great joy in seeing the hip, happening, tofu-toting Timberlake “bring it on down to Veganville” – and get the best of the stocky sausage seller.
Finally, for a comedy injection of network-TV-size proportions, turn to “The Simpsons”. Two episodes with a particularly tasty veggie flavor are:
- “Lisa the Vegetarian” (Season 7, Episode 5) – Watch for Homer talking about “the magic animal”, lunch lady Doris saying “possibly the meat loaf”, the hot dog sight gag, and the rousing musical number, “You don’t make friends with salad!”
- “Lisa the Tree Hugger” (Season 12, Espisode 4) – You’ll see teen heartthrob Jesse, the self-described “level 5 vegan” who not only composts, but even “pocket mulches” (yes, that is a verb).
Let me know about some of your favorites. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these and laugh your skinny, vegan butt off!!