I saw Aries Spears at the DC Improv on Connecticut Avenue in Washington, DC. Aries is a stand-up comedian and actor who was on the Fox comedy series MADtv. Since I watched that show irregularly, I couldn’t recall any of his performances. So, to refresh my memory, I watched a couple of his YouTube videos and concluded that he was very funny. I also thought that being immersed in an atmosphere overflowing with laughter would be an uplifting experience.
Some relief theorists view laughter as relieving an accumulation of nervous energy. “Sigmund Freud stated that all laugh-producing situations are pleasurable because they save psychic energy.” Freud also concluded that jokes are more than they seem because they have hidden benefits which allow us to enjoy hidden pleasure unconsciously.” This is true in that you cannot make yourself laugh on demand. There is something that causes a feeling inside of you to burst into “unanticipated words or sounds that are hard to decipher.”
On a normal day, driving into the city can be an exhausting experience with the continuous influx of traffic and limited on-street parking. On that day, traffic was worse than normal – The 2017 DC Capital Pride Parade was in full swing. Street closures along with the parade’s residual revelers caused traffic to move at a snail’s pace. I glanced at the flashes of purple, blue, yellow and red scattered throughout the crowd. Red and yellow haired men and women in cropped tops, short shorts and a variety of offbeat clothing beaming with pride strolling along the streets of DC. An abundance of blue metallic sunglasses and t-shirts emblazoned with various gay pride messages sashayed in front of my immobile car, stalled by traffic.
The DC Improv is a comedy club and restaurant. They offer a discount on parking at the garage next to the venue. This provided me with a level of safety and convenience. Once inside, you are seated at a table with other guests. The tables are not very large, and the spacing between the tables is snug at best. There were six of us at my table. Yet, it was not an uncomfortable experience.
Aries Spears had the crowd fully immersed in his comedy. He told stories about his life, his likes and dislikes and interacted with the audience. Everyone in the crowd laughed throughout his routine because his jokes continuously flowed like waves. I eagerly anticipated the next punchline. Without warning, a feeling emerged reminiscent to me observing my own reflection. In that moment, I was happy.