Advice from a 21-year-old
Lou’s Lowdown: An advice column
by Lou Stein
As a 21-year-old, I’ve pretty much reached the pinnacle of human experience and am therefore the most qualified person to provide first rate advice about, well, everything. I’ve had TENS of friends tell me I give great advice and most of them actually follow it. So, when someone comes to me with a problem, needless to say, I know what I’m doing. Take this issue someone brought up to me last week:
“Hey Lou, so a good friend of mine has decided that it’s their calling to be a big time comedian. Every day or so they are coming up to me and practicing their jokes so they can be ready for the next open mic night in the pub. Every time I see them, it’s the same bit about how awkward it is to be stuck in the elevator with your professor- and I really want to be supportive, but I just don’t know how to fake a laugh anymore. I’ve tried everything! From the hearty chuckle to full on knee-slapping, I’m all out of ideas. I know if I stop laughing they are going to catch on to my deception, and worse realize that they will never make it as a comedian. What should I do?”
To which I sensibly replied: It sounds like what you’re really trying to do is let your friend think that they’re funny. This is a common issue where someone needs to come off as funnier than they actually are. So what does every terrible comedy show do in this situation? Utilize the laugh track. Take the Big Bang Theory for example, whenever something sexist is said they just play a raucous laugh track faster than you say, “wait – was that sexist?” What you need to do is download a laugh track on your phone so you can let it do the laughing for you. For best results, use an entire audience rather than a single laugh; this will create the illusion that your friend is funny to multiple people, and is therefore more encouraging! Pro tip: this technique is more believable if you throw your head back and pretend to be laughing along with the track. If you should find yourself stuck with your friend without your phone, just imagine them falling down the stairs and hope for the best. If all else fails, next time you hear the same old bit about being stuck in an elevator, consider getting funnier friends.
Due to technological difficulties, articles from the Feb. 15 issue were posted late. The Lorian apologizes for the late update.