’mon, Dad. It’ll be fun!” This was my son’s invitation to take a stand-up
comedy class from the Comedy Zone in Charlotte, North Carolina, just
a short drive up the interstate from Columbia. I agreed. And the rest is history.
Fairly humorous history.
The dozen students came from a wide variety of backgrounds; only one of
them identified himself as a Jesus follower. The two instructors explained
the type of comedy they were looking for as we developed over six weekly
sessions our three-minute “sets” which we performed at our “graduation
showcase” the seventh week.
The experience was quite educative for me. I learned a lot about this kind of
comedy (not easy to do). “GTTF” was often used by the instructors – “Get To
The Funny!” The material presented by most of the other students made me
cringe. Their topics ranged from multiple divorces to sex education at Planned
Parenthood to...well, you get the idea. My set focused on my getting older,
exercise (or lack thereof), and dieting. For example:
My wife said to me the other day, “Honey, it just dawned on me that there are
70 pounds of you that I’m not legally married to...” (Insert laughter.)
One student asked me in the men’s room after class, “Is it really true you and
your wife have been married for 44 years?!” I said, yes. He asked, “What’s your
secret?” I said, “Well, it takes three to make a solid marriage – the Lord right
in the center.”
At the first session, one of our exercises was to introduce ourselves. One
Harvard-educated student made clear that she is an atheist. So I made clear
that I am a theist — and then had to explain it to the class!
Larry Dixon, Ph.D.
Professor of Theology
CIU Seminary & School of Ministry