Last night, my husband and I watched Jim Breuer's comedy special "Jim Breuer: Comedy Frenzy" with our eldest. We're familiar with Breuer's comedy having seen his earlier work on Saturday Night Live and his goat boy pieces. This special was a bit different than his other work that I've watched in that it made me a bit uncomfortable. I was a bit discomfited by his discussion about his father.
His father moved in with Jim and his family after his Alzheimer's diagnosis. Jim took his father with him on tour. At least a third of Comedy Frenzy is about his father's Alzheimer's and the reality of dealing with an adult unable to control his own bowels. The part that particularly was difficult to watch was the revelation that his mother now had Alzheimer's.
Is it funny to hear about having to hose off his father? Yes. It is. It is very funny to hear Breuer's version. Is it acceptable to discuss dementia as part of a stand-up routine? Yes. Stand-up comedy can take situations we don't want to experience and present them to us in a different light. Tig Notaro's "Hello, I have cancer" is a brilliant example of using humor to deal with life and adversity. Did it make me uncomfortable to laugh about the Dr. Kevorkian bit? Definitely. Part of my brain was thinking about all of the posts I've read in an online support group to which I belong and wondering how this scenario would come across in a post. That's my problem; not Breuer's.
He clearly loved his father.
So, if you have a chance to see Comedy Frenzy, let yourself enjoy it. It really is a laugh!