The great aspect of living in a city where everyone comes to realize their dreams, is that it’s full of creative people oozing ideas, good and bad.
The shaky hand, the labored breathing when she sleeps in her wheelchair, her shrinking body nourished mostly by vanilla ice cream.
“Thank you,” my mother said to me a few weeks ago as I pulled my face away from hers, having just given her kisses, one on each cheek.
Not what you’d expect to hear from someone who created a company that hires comedians to use their talent to make people with Alzheimer’s, their caregivers, and their families laugh.
“A person is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s every 65 seconds now,” Yael Wyte said to me the other morning over coffee.
Jackie Monahan is a comedian and writer. She has been working for Laughter On Call a little less than a year.
When I first brought my mother to Los Angeles from New York City where she had lived for most of her life -minus a long decade she spent in suburban Connecticut – she was doing okay.
Some might argue we’re a motley crew. Ranging in age from 30 to 93, in t-shirts, unshaven with unkempt hair, we meet Monday through Friday at noon, following the lead of our in house “comedy care” expert instructing us to breathe deeply, make funny faces and, depending on whatever comedy principal we are taking on that day, tell silly stories.
Hello to all our isolated friends. We have arrived at week three of staying safe, social distancing and creating laughter from where ever we are.
Funny how lyrics can resonate differently depending on where you are in your life. I have been thinking a lot about bravery, more specifically courage, these last few months. So much so that you may have noticed we changed the tag line for Laughter On Call from “Hope. One laugh at a time,” to “Courage. One laugh at a time.”
If you’re old enough to have a parent who is a senior, you may remember the seminal book Tuesdays with Morrie. This memoir, recounting the wise and intimate conversations that the author Mitch Albom had with his former college professor Morrie Schwartz in the last months of his life tugged at the heartstrings of popular culture with surprising vigor.
“At Laughter On Call, we’re so committed to making you laugh, we’ll crack a rib if we have to!” this was the ad copy running through my mind lying on the cold metal table in a paper dress slit down the back waiting for my torso to be x-rayed.
On Sunday a group of Improv comics met at my house in Atwater Village for some Interactive Storytelling training. As you can see, it was awful. Fortunately we also had snacks!
I recently had the good fortune to travel to Israel with the Bnai Zion Foundation. They have been dedicated to building community in Israel with love for over 110 years! And we know Laughter On Call builds community and connections with laughter so it was a perfect fit.
September 8, 2023
Comedians love imperfection, we know it’s a goldmine for laughs, and in terms of business, can often be a source for innovation.