Serious Humor

“Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious.”–Peter Ustinov

It struck me as ironic that this quote should show up on my “Quote of the Day” because I had been thinking about this idea since doing some reading on Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry yesterday. Both Laurie and Fry are clever, witty, very funny actors, yet they both have struggled with serious mental illnesses. Laurie has been treated for clinical depression; Stephen Fry, for bipolar disorder. Incidentally, both men sought treatment within a couple of years of each other, and all the while they continued to perform in TV shows and movies which cast them as comic characters. I’ve always heard that some people develop a fine sense of humor to mask hurt and discouragment. That seems to be true with these men.

I wonder if Hugh Laurie’s current role as House allows him to explore the darker side of depression that he didn’t express, at least on screen, during the mid-90’s.

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