Comedy With A Cause: Making Jokes and Making A Difference

image credit: releart

“Life isn’t all fun and games.”

We’ve all heard it, in different ways and from different people. The underlying sentiment is usually:

“There’s more to life than being happy.”

Of course there is. There’s also more to life than keeping everything serious.

I love laughing and making trying to make people laugh. It’s great to find that perfect moment in a conversation and drop a situational quip or unforeseen pun. Even if no one else gets a kick out of it, I do. Comedy is one of the most powerful ways to connect with someone and even make a point. And it seems that laughter is even good for us.

Having fun isn’t at odds with making a difference. It might even help.

Some of us aren’t very good at it, but that doesn’t stop us from trying. Humor helps us see the lighthearted things of life and remind us not to take ourselves too seriously. No one likes to be around a person who thinks everything’s life or death without room for levity.

Of course, there are appropriate times and inappropriate times for jokes and gags. Like all communication, the key to great comedy lies in knowing your audience.

An Example of Productive Playfulness

This week I’ve been both impressed and jealous of Jesse Carey, member of the RELEVANT Podcast, who’s subjecting himself to an entire week of the complete Nickelback catalog non-stop. All Canadian rock and roll, all day, all night, all the snarky comments and self-aware commentary on social media.

I’m not jealous because he’s willingly risking his very health and sanity by a constant audio assault by frosted tips- and Affliction t-shirt-donning rockstars. I’m a little jealous because I never dream up ideas like this one—cunningly channeling pop culture to raise money for a good cause—and succeeding.

The #JesseChallenge (or #NickelbackChallenge) is using Carey’s tongue-in-cheekiness to raise awareness and funds for charity: water, an organization that works with local partners around the world to build and maintain wells to make clean water a reality for everyone on the planet. That is serious business.

I love what Jesse and the RELEVANT crew are doing with this. It’s even gaining national and international attention. Listen to the backstory of the challenge on this episode of the RELEVANT Podcast. The podcast has been one of my weekly highlights for the last 7+ years. They do a great job hosting guests and conversations about culture, faith, intentional living, really weird news, and endless inside jokes.

If you want to be in on the joke and, more importantly, provide clean water to people in need, check out the Nickelback Challenge charity: water page and donate. I did, right before checking in on the sly hilarity of Jesse’s live updates and the Internet’s support/confusion.

Having fun isn’t at odds with making a difference. It might even help.

UPDATE: Over $16,000 donated with 42 days left!


What’s your favorite example of using humor to accomplish something?



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