J: Hello everyone and welcome to American Cafe! My name's Jody.
J: Hey, Yang Chen, I have a joke. Do you have a minute?
Y: Uh huh.
J: Okay, did you hear the one about the mushroom who walked into the bar?
J: Well, a mushroom walked into a bar and the bartender said, "Hey, get out of here. We don't serve your kind."
J: That's exactly what the mushroom asked. "What do mean you don't serve my kind...I'm a fun guy!" Fun-guy. You know, fungus ... See the mushroom's a fungus. Oh, never mind. It's kind of funny. Yang Chen, are you there? Don't you get it? Fungus...Fungi...
Y: Haha ... 是挺幽默的。我相信我们的听众在收音机前已经笑得直不起腰来了。
J: Oh, you know what, don't humor me, Yang Chen.
J: You know maybe I should take me friend's comedy class. You know, polish my act a little.
Y: A little？
J: Yeah, you know polish it up a little.
J: Oh sure. My friend Jason teaches a stand up comedy class so I went to check it out.
J: Actually the thing that surprised me the most was how serious the class was. Jason talked a lot about the pain and sorrow in comedy.
J: I was surprised too. But let's here from Jason as he describes his philosophy of comedy.
实录1 Jason: Comedy is actually your pain turned into comedy; that is what it is. It's the things that affect you in your life. Unfortunately the things that most people will laugh at are your pain and your sorrow that actually is actually in their life as well in some sort of fashion, maybe a bad mother, a bad father, bad working conditions, something like that, but they can still identify.
J: I agree. We all laugh at things we can identify with. As a comic Jason is not afraid of sharing the most painful parts of his life. During our interview as we were driving from his stand-up class Jason talked about how he grew up with a heart condition, his open heart surgery and the connection to comedy.
实录2 Jason: Comedy has always been dear to my heart. Um, I grew up with a heart condition. I had open-heart surgery. Um, I found that comedy was the unique thing that would bring people together. And it was always something I could do to make them laugh and help them enjoy their life and actually take their pain and sorrow of their life, identify it with me ... and actually get some sort of ... maybe a closure or some sort of ending to their saga or their story.
Y: 其实我们每个人在生活中都有这样的经历。 你越是在困难的时候就越想看喜剧片或者听听笑话。
J: Oh, I think so too.
J: Most of the students in the class were older women. There was only one man. Here's Jason again talking about one of his students.
实录3 Jason: One of my students had brain surgery and she wanted to use it as some sort of healing. Bring out her pain into the public and actually to resolve that and turn her pain into someone else's happiness. And, um, it's a way of putting closure on events.
Y: Jason刚才讲的这个学生做过脑部手术。她想借助喜剧来恢复健康。对这个学生来说，"putting closure on events" 就意味着要忘掉过去的痛苦，开始新的生活。说起来美国的这种 "stand-up comedy" 是一种很特殊的喜剧表演方式，有点类似中国的单口相声。
J: Stand-up comedy is one of the hardest types of performing. It literally means that you stand up in front of people and make them laugh.
J: You know that's a good question. You feel vulnerable. You feel exposed. You feel embarrassed. You feel naked.
J: That's right!
J: Let me tell my joke again and see if it's any better.
J: We'll finish with my joke. Thanks for joining us on American Cafe.
J: So a mushroom walks into a bar ...
J: ... and the bartender says, "Hey get out of here! We don't serve your kind.