Throughout his childhood, comedian Christopher Titus had to deal with a clinically depressed mother who also suffered from schizophrenia, a father who drank too much and brought an endless parade of stepmothers in the house, and other issues. Many would use this as an excuse to give up and do nothing in life, or even escape into drug abuse. Titus decided to follow his “what doesn’t kill you makes you funny” philosophy and turn his hardships into something positive.
He started doing standup routines based on his dysfunctional home life. He quickly connected with audiences who had gone through similar struggles and let them know they’re not alone. He states proudly that screwed up people are the majority in today’s world and he thinks it can be a good thing. “Normal people,” he says, “haven’t had enough problems to know how to handle it when something bad happens.” He says that a person who has come from a dysfunctional home can adjust much easier when something goes wrong because “after you’ve driven your drunk father to mom’s parole hearing… what else is there?”
His routine, Norman Rockwell is Bleeding, held nothing back. In describing his mother, he says his mom is crazy in a “we, the jury, find the defendant…” way, discusses taping his dad’s DUI arrest when it was aired on TV and gleefully sharing it at family reunions, as well as his humiliation over being physically abused by an ex who was much smaller than he is. He also describes his experiences growing up with a father who did not believe in sugar coating anything and wanted his son to learn his lessons the hard way if need be. While these don’t sound like great material for a comedy routine, Titus manages to find the funny in each instance and get it across to the audience.
I’ll leave you today with a little clip from one of his specials, Neverlution, where he makes a statement while also bringing the laughs. Enjoy, and see you next time! 🙂