Comedy and depression

Parker Posey

Actor Parker Posey has commented:

“I can do comedy, so people want me to do that, but the other side of comedy is depression. Deep, deep depression is the flip side of comedy. Casting agents don’t realize it but in order to be funny you have to have that other side.”

Asked by interviewer Whoopi Goldberg [Interview mag., July 2006] if she was a “relatively happy person,” comedian Amy Sedaris said, “I am. I only say that because other people have said that of me. I’m drawn to depression. It’s what inspires me. But I’m pretty content and good natured myself.”

[photo at left from her film Strangers with Candy (2005) – also a Comedy Central series]

Comedian and actor Maya Rudolph [“Saturday Night Live”] confirms “Any comedian knows what it’s like not to laugh. I think a lot of people in comedy would say that they know the dark places as well as the light.”

Underlying her raunchy and loud humor, Roseanne declared in her memoir and interviews that she had been diagnosed with multiple personality disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, depression and agoraphobia.

Jules Feiffer, cartoonist for the New Yorker and the Village Voice, and political humorist Art Buchwald are among others who have experienced depression.

Buchwald was quoted in a Psychology Today article [Celebrity Meltdown – Celebrities and heroes who struggle with depression]: “One of my major fears during my depression was that I would lose my sense of humor and wind up in advertising.”

In his book Pure Drivel, Steve Martin wrote, “Because topics are in such short supply, I have provided a few for writers who may be suffering in the darker climes. File some of these away, and look through them during the suicidal winter months: ‘Naked Belligerent Panties’: This is a good sexy title with a lot of promise.”

Related Facebook page: Emotional Health and Creativity.