Calling a lunatic asylum a ‘fun house’ may have an entirely new meaning after a recent study classified comedians as “psychotic”.
That’s right, a publication in the British Journal of Psychiatry, done by none other than Oxford, says that folks like Sarah Silverman and Eddie Izzard might have more in common with Batman’s Joker than previously thought.
If this study has any statistical significance, then this paints a whole new picture for those men and women who make a living off cracking us up. High levels of psychosis are actually “detrimental to humour” says Dr. Gordon Claridge, a psychologist at the University of Oxford, but if you hit just the right amount “it can increase people’s ability to associate odd or unusual things or to think ‘outside the box’.”
But it doesn’t stop there. If you’re a comedian, you are likely to have mania, which can help you “form new, original, humorous connections,” and you’re probably not interested in long term relationships with people. A pinch of extroversion, a dash of antisocial behavior and you have yourself a recipe for comedy gold. However, is their mental state really to blame for all these symptoms?
Many people in that business use a strong dose of cynicism to make their humour work. George Carlin once said that behind every cynic there’s a disappointed idealist, and this could very well explain why comedians act the way they do. It is entirely possible for the ‘everydayness’ of life to drive people like them up the wall. Although there might be a third reason for these unusual findings.
Either this study is legitimate or these 523 people who took the test pulled the biggest prank on the researchers this world has ever seen. Think about it, you wouldn’t put it past them, would you?
They’re just crazy enough to do it.