Stephen Colbert Loves HIs Wife
Misery breeds comedy
Stephen Colbert loves his wife. A lot of comedians love their wives, but once their happy marriages start leaking into their worldviews, they are forced to hire self-loathing doom-afflicted writers to remind them how depressing and hopeless life is.
I’m very hostile. I’m told this is a good thing for humor. It’s important for comedy writers to be disgusted by humans, governments, Caucasians, hypocrisy, Ted Cruz, relationships, drivers, exercise equipment, co-workers, bosses, baristas spelling their name wrong, Ted Cruz, selfies, phone solicitors, rich people, quarantine, Gwyneth Paltrow, bravery, and cologne.
It is also essential for humor writers to deeply believe they are monumentally failing. I, personally, am driven by the pathological necessity to scrape the inner shit off of the proverbial shoe that is my life. It requires dedication, reframing every success as a failure, and an open-door policy for gaslighters.
Sometimes, I am immune to feeling shitty about myself. I wake up with shiny hair and remember what day it is and I think, “Wow. I‘m aging really well.”
Whenever I think I have mastered this Matrix of life, I have this acute hallucination where I’m propped on a fluffy white birthday cake, plated upon Dante's seven levels of purgatory, and I give myself the finger.
“Look at all the corpses you and your dumb cake are standing on!” I heckle at my cake-perching hallucination. She’s clueless and flips her shiny hair and fake laughs — like I can’t tell when she/I’m fake laughing.
On these infrequent days of self-adoration, I slide on my narcissistic filtered glasses and turn everything into a compliment. “Oh my god, my house got robbed. I would totally rob my house. My house is awesome. I’m so lucky.”
Self-love can feel like a superpower but it frightens me. It lacks the self-deprecating vitriol I need to feel safe. This self-love version of me writes you-go-girl blogs and Peloton inspirationals. She’s awful.
When I’m around her/me, I mentally inventory my arsenal/panic room to see if I have any doubled-sided pointy weapons. I don’t want to murder her/myself but I’d like to stab our perky narrative, attempting to trigger parts of my body memory that went to high school.
I want to remind her/me that we weren’t always shiny and aging well. Once, we were the piece of shit the world revolved around. The important thing for writing humor is comedy-life balance. Love yourself enough to get out of bed. Hate yourself enough to wake up at 3 am, smother your face with a pillow so you can yell “fuck fuck fuck fuck” without waking the kids.
And love your wife. And, most importantly, marry someone obscenely wealthy in case you ever become genuinely happy and you need to pay someone else to write your jokes.