The Act of Laughter and Remembering

There are some moments or people that stick in your mind for a long time. They inspire, repel, console or pain you. Like thinking elephants, fathers and sons, we are destined to live with these thoughts long into our dwindling days. They maybe albatrosses or crosses to bear or joyful times that reminds us of our perceived found raison d’etre but they remain with us, holding up our hopes and follies.

Milan Kundera, the great Czech French emigre, the writer of The Joke, the Book of Laughter and Forgiveness and The Unbearable Lightness of Being offers immense insight into human relationship and psyches. As a writer and dissident in his homeland of Czechoslovakia, under the Cold War communist government, Kundera was forced to leave the country for his inability to conform to the wishes of the state. in short; he would not say what he saw.


So he left, emigrated to France and continued to write. As he aged, he wrote less satire and became more melancholic, and wrote more about memory and the influence our memories have on our lives. For as we age, we do look back, we do see the timeline, the produce of our days. We speculate, regret, laugh, forgive and forget.


Daniel Kitson is a English comic of a newer school. He isn’t political; political is old school yet he isn’t light. He is intensely passionate over his subject matter. He pains for the human race, simply wanting to make society a better place and believes with a few simple unselfish acts in our everyday lives we can do that. The story he tells is a fable, ending the show with the conclusion of the story he starts the show with. This is no act; he’s serious. He has clearly thought about life and our roles in it deeply.

And it is intensely funny. The part covering how we think and otters is genius. His stories make you laugh and you are applauding before you know it. His theories charm and impress the audience into admired listening. He wishes and calls for a better world; a more considerate world. The story thread is impressive, the tone and emphasis is warming. It’s always funny; he is too intelligent for it not to be and to aware of his duty to let it run long without a joke at the end.


When finishes he walks off directly. Everyone leaves quickly. You don’t have calls for an encore for you know none will be given. He is finished. He has said what he wanted to say, what he considered important. It took 2 hours but you never noticed. You leaves through the talking crowd, proud of the perfomance and proud to have been there. A philosopher, humanist, slight nerd and funny man rolled into one. Most comedians have jokes to tell; Daniel Kitson has a whole philosophy. The man is a genius. I don’t say that easily. It’s been 5 days since the performance. It remains my thinking still.


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