sadhna bokhiria

Dr Sadhna Bokhiria, a Professor of English at Argosy University, was working on her dissertation and in the process was feeling the pressure of the situation. One night she took a break from her studying and visited her local comedy club to blow off some steam. It was there that she experienced a release of all that pent-up pressure the dissertation brought into her life, and she realised this effect came directly from all the laughing she was doing. So after going to a comedy show for the first time in her life, which clearly had a positively profound effect on her, the good doctor realised that “Laughter is really good for you.”

This detour provided a wider perspective for Bokhiria, who caught the rush and the bug to learn more about humour and its effect on audiences and comedians. She wanted to know that if laughter has such a profound effect on the audience, what must it do for the comedians on stage who are generating the laughter? And so she began to study indepth the correlation between humour, comedians, and higher intelligence. Thus a second dissertation was born, one which involved Bokhiria interviewing more than 500 comedians over a period of more than 3 years to try and work out the effects stand-up comedy has on the comedic brain. After reviewing all these comedians she gave this rather interesting 13 minute TEDx talk:

She realised that “Stand-up comedians have been known to have higher IQs, higher emotional intelligence, they’re better at problem solving, they’re better at abstract thinking or the ability to think outside of the box, and on top of that people even find them to be more likeable and attractive. Their creative process is highly intellectual and incredibly liberating. You see, stand-up comedians are always on. Their brains are constantly scanning our worlds looking for what’s off so they can use it in their material, and that means that they’re constantly observing, learning, writing, and practicing…comedians are trained to find humour or to find the light in things.”

Her research also led her to believe that it takes great courage and incredible intelligence to be authentic in today’s world, and comedians are only a handful of people who are able to fully exemplify this, in this case through their art. In that same vein of thought, please find below several quotes from various authentic comedians, all of them trying to find the light in various different subject matters. These quotes are from many comedians, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, as well as some from atheist Bill Maher, who was on fine form this week on his show talking about your favourite topic and mine, Donald Trump. Please note that there is some strong language, you have been warned. Enjoy!

On Friday President Trump temporarily reopened the government. And I know liberals are tweeting out “Trump caved!” But all of you have got to calm down. Stop gloating. You didn’t win yet. The man is still one tweet away from calling a national state of emergency and bringing back slavery. Act like he’s still crazy. You have got to treat him like you’re training a dog, with constant positive reinforcement. Maybe it’s that every time he does something you like, tweet out “Who’s a good boy” – Michael Che, from Saturday Night Live, 26 Jan 2019

Like most parents, mine wanted me to go to school. As far as Indian parents are concerned there’s only really three options: you’re a doctor, you’re a lawyer, or you’re a major disappointment. – Dr Sadhna Bokhiria

The Vatican has released a new app called Click To Pray that will allow Catholics around the world to pray with Pope Francis, replacing the current app for Catholic prayers, Grinder. – Colin Jost, from Saturday Night Live, 26 Jan 2019

My dad’s Christian friend used to always say “Islam and Christianity have so many similarities. Even in the Bible it says ‘From dust we are and to dust we shall return.'” My father would be like “That is why I don’t dust the furniture, it could be somebody I know.” – Salman Jaffri

Riding the train is pretty good for me, that’s pretty good right now, I really enjoy it. Do you like using the train? So many wonderful things happen there. I was on the train and this woman sneezed and this man said “God bless you” to her and she didn’t say anything. He said it again just in case she didn’t hear, like “Hey, God bless you.” Still nothing. He physically tapped her on the shoulder and was like “Hey, God bless you.” And she finally begrudgingly was like “Okay thank you.” And I was trying to understand why she wouldn’t just say “Thank you.” But then I started thinking about the phrase “God bless you” and it’s kind of a paradox, right? Like, who are we to command God to bless somebody else? And if we could then we would be gods and religion would be useless in the first place. So maybe she realized that and didn’t want to be complicit in that kind of hubris……or maybe she’s a c*nt. I don’t know. – Dina Hashem

Growing up I always thought God hated me, that Allah was mad at me. My mum would be downstairs, I would be upstairs, and she would be like “Son, come downstairs.” “Yeah mum, in a minute.” She would then say “Right now!” “Yeah, in a minute!” I would come down about 5 minutes later, I’d be running down the stairs and I’m running and I hit my knee on the coffee table, and my mum says “You know what? See, Allah did that…because you don’t listen to your parents. You see that?” – Salman Jaffri

Let me just ask you about Trump’s state of mind. He said the other day “I see a lot of the Democrats, almost all of them…” This just speaks to his mind and this is what I want to ask you why you like this guy. He’s starting with a giant lie, that the Democrats…the end of the quote is, “are breaking.” “I see a lot of the Democrats, almost all of them are breaking, saying ‘Look, walls are good, walls are good.'” No Democrats are saying that, that’s exactly the opposite of their position. Their leader said it’s an immorality. So he starts with a lie, “I see a lot of the Democrats…” He’s in the middle of his own sentence when he then goes “…almost all of them.” You see! He builds on his own lie from two seconds before. He is not fucking sane! He is not a sane person, really, he convinces himself of his own reality, that is so dangerous…You like someone who doesn’t live in reality?!…He also said this week “I know more about technology than anybody.” Now, this is an insane person. How can we move forward with an insane person and a criminal?…He is an insane political narcissist who shouldn’t be president. – Bill Maher 25 Jan 2019, on his show Real Time With Bill Maher, speaking to ultra conservative Ann Coulter

That’s why I don’t think we’ll see guillotines, because Americans never blame rich people. That’s the tragedy of the Trump voter. They see themselves being squeezed and they can’t identify who’s doing the squeezing. They think it’s immigrants and single moms. You know? The takers! Remember the takers, people with no money who have all the money? – Bill Maher, 25 Jan 2019

The police, they’re struggling at the moment, because the government have cut their numbers. And the police said “If you cut our numbers, crime is going to go up.” Now, crime has, in fact, gone down. That’s slightly embarrassing for the police, isn’t it? Best interpretation of those figures is that police numbers have very little effect on overall crime. The worst interpretation of those figures is, in fact, that the police were responsible for a lot of the crime. – Andy Parsons

You want to be careful because apparently, according to the police, one in twenty drinks are now spiked in Britain. I was thinking you could probably use that as an excuse not to go into work the next day. “I can’t come in because my drink was spiked.” “How do you know?” “Well, I had twenty of them.” – Andy Parsons

I predict that Trump will win the Nobel Prize. For Literature. “The Collected Tweets of Donald Trump” is surely a worthy successor to the work of William Golding, the 1983 laureate and author of “Lord of The Flies,” in its depiction of adolescent cruelty. – Bret Stephens, Jan 2019

What’s currently bugging me? When I hear the word Brexit, it raises bile in my throat. I’m allergic to the word. The minute somebody says it, I go into a coma, standing up. I don’t care anymore, about anything. It’s worn me down. – Ruby Wax, Jan 2019

I will tell you guys something else about me. I grew up in a Muslim family. Most of my family is from Morocco and they still live there in Africa, so…you know…SURPRISE! What’s up?! That’s right, thanks for the white privilege, idiots! I got ya! I’ve been secretly brown this whole time. You guys have been pranked. You guys are all on my new prank show, Muz, What’s Up? I want to give a quick shout out to the cops, thanks for the no tickets ever, that’s been great. Those guys take one look at my ID and they’re like “Hhmm, Mekki Leeper? Well, that sounds like a halal food order, but you look like my kid! Get out of here, man. What, do you want 20 bucks? Do you want to play with my gun? I love you.” That’s what they say. Very interesting. – Mekki Leeper

It was weird growing up in a house with two religions, because my mom was Muslim and my dad was Christian and instead of like forcing one on me, which you are supposed to with your child, they were like “No, it’ll be fine, we’ll just let him pick. Come on Mek, there’s no pressure. After all, you are eight. It’s about time you made a decision, you know. Don’t worry, one of us has to be wrong, so there is that. Why don’t you come back home after Little League and denounce one of your parents’ beliefs. That will be character building for you.” – Mekki Leeper

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