Oct 12 , 2021

Entertainment Is Alive In Van Wert: Laughter Is Good Medicine

by Tafi Stober

Why Comedy? Ten months ago, Van Wert Area Performing Arts Foundation, presenting Van Wert Live events, was deliberating programming for the unknown that the Fall of 2021 may bring. What we did know was that our audience would be ready for laughter. Immune-building laughter seemed the perfect gift of healing that the Niswonger Performing Arts Center stage could deliver. Beyond helping take our minds off the news, comedy is proven to have positive mental and physical health benefits that we could all use.

“If we don’t laugh, we’ll cry” is a nonchalant phrase often used in culture and one that I often threw out in situations of light-hearted despair. Life does have a way of making phrases like this relevant to each of us. The pandemic certainly brought challenges to each of us in very unexpected ways and we are left grieving the loss of loved ones and fond routines. There is no one who has escaped the sorrow of this trying time.

Seeking out humor during challenges is vital and even more powerful when experienced together in society. Laughter is a common coping mechanism because increased stress and anxiety have terrible implications for our cardiovascular health and other conditions such as cardiovascular disease, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and anxiety. 

A study of 88 cancer patients monitored the effects of comedy videos on anxiety levels and vital signs both pre and post-surgery. Those who watched experienced a significant reduction in anxiety and blood pressure. Another study found humorous distractions, such as watching a funny clip, effective in increasing pain tolerance. Laughter is proven to help boost the immune system. Even modern medicine stands behind the belief that comedy chills you out, helps you deal with pain, and boosts immunity.

There are options for comedy right here in Van Wert with the perfect cocktail of comedy at the Niswonger. Up next is The Southern Fried Chicks serving up a delicious antidote for laughter on Saturday, October 23 at 7:30PM. Life and love in the USA has never been funnier as when these top headliners take the stage. Think Blue Collar Comedy Tour with better hair and bigger attitudes!

Then Jeff Allen makes clean comedy cool with a hilarious routine of The America He Knows on Saturday, November 6 at 7:30 PM. Jeff has been featured on America’s Got Talent, Netflix, Amazon, Dry Bar Comedy, Pureflix, Huckabee, Warner Bros., Bananas, Apostles of Comedy, Thou Shalt Laugh, and numerous other networks and shows. Jeff Allen has been all over the world making people laugh and now he's bringing his medicine to Van Wert.

Whether you like to laugh-a-little or laugh-a-lot, Comedic medicine is what we got! 

(Pictured: Mia Jackson, one of the four funny girls of Southern Fried Chicks // Jeff Allen delivers with comedic routine The American I Grew Up In)

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