Five Funny Things To Watch When You Need to Distract Yourself: Everyday Magic, Day 128

When Ken slipped into bed last night, he was ready to tell me what he had just discovered about how much worse global warming was than we even thought in the last year. Luckily for me, I had my deflect-bad-news shield on: I couldn’t stop humming Monty Python’s “Always look on the bright side of life” (from the end of Life of Brian). Turns out I’ve been in active denial about the dark side for hours, and here’s what I’ve occupied myself with instead — all great distractions when you’re feeling pressure, sadness or overwhelm (and sometimes such distractions help our lizard brains rest enough that we can then get up and do what needs to be done):

“Graham Chapman, co-author of the Parrot Sketch, is no more,” begins John Cleese at the 1989 funeral of his Monty Python pal. This video made me laugh myself to tears, and it culminates in all the Pythons belting out “Always look on the bright side of life.” I also like the Italian subtitles. Thanks to Carrie Pekor, who I grew up in a Levitt housing development in central N.J., for posting this.

David Sadaris, how do I love thee? There’s “8 Questions After Graduation” (in six parts), his great stint on Letterman, “6-8 Black Men,” and “Jesus Shaves.” Best of all, here he sings commercial jingles in the voice of Billie Holliday. You can find even more on youtube and keep yourself in a state of screen-induced euphoria for hours.

Reese Witherspoon’s “Bend and Snap” scene from Legally Blonde, is both funny and inspiring. It can also work as a mild exercise routine.

Gilda Radner and Madeline Kahn on Saturday Night Live in the 1970s — see Kah’s impression of a baby eating ice cream for the first time, and Radner’s of a parrot learning its first word.

Of course, for the chocolate lovers, there’s always Lucille Ball trying to wrap the candy rushing down the assembly line.


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