If you're looking for something to take your mind off of the West Coast wildfires, COVID-19 crisis, systemic racism, global warming, Trump vs. Biden, and other serious things that leave you less than smiley-faced, my wife and I have a suggestion.
Fire up Netflix and watch Ricky Gervais' Humanity show, a 78-minute stand-up routine that dates from 2017.
Now, if you watch it and blame us for recommending this piece of tasteless trash, keep in mind that Laurel and I enjoy dark humor. And Gervais is so dark in Humanity he easily beats out a black cat in a completely lightless room.
He starts off by spending considerable time telling transgender jokes at the expense of Caitlyn Jenner, daring to speak the name that mustn't be spoken, according to transgender purists -- Jenner's original name, Bruce.
After that the show descends (or ascends, in my opinion) into taking jabs at other sensitive topics, like children with cancer. Moments of more traditional levity are interspersed here and there, such as how dogs got their special gifts.
The breed that hunts lions wasn't wild about their gift.
We watched Humanity a few days ago. Rather bizarrely, now and then I've found myself thinking, What would Ricky Gervais do in this situation?
That's the power of comedy, and of dark comedy in particular. Gervais finds humor in subjects that are thoroughly unfunny to most people. Yet from a certain perspective, such as the twisted mind of Gervais, they are funny.
And Gervais makes fun of himself also. Just not as often as he takes digs at others.
He demonstrates the virtue of not caring overly much about what other people think, so long as what you think rings true to you. At one point he recites the cardinal rule followed by his family, or maybe just his brother and him, I can't remember exactly.
"If you think of something funny, you must say it." Maybe somebody will laugh. Maybe they won't. No matter. What matters if that you expressed your creativity. There's a lot of power in that comedic philosophy.
Here's some You Tube videos of clips from Humanity, including the dog bit. It's the first one. Also, the least offensive one.