Terminally Illin'
August 13, 2009 9:49 AM   Subscribe

Cancer is hilarious.

On humor, healing, and the art of remaining human and hip in difficult circumstances. (From Newsweek.) See also here, here and here.
posted by digaman (39 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm serious as cancer
When I say rhythm is a dancer
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:53 AM on August 13, 2009


In an effort to improve their physical fitness, many active alcoholics and other drunk people have taken up yoga.
posted by netbros at 9:58 AM on August 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Blame Drew's Cancer.
posted by fixedgear at 10:10 AM on August 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


I think AIDS is funnier than cancer, but the holocaust has 'em both beat. What's funnier than Hitler?!

Nothing, that's what.
posted by Bageena at 10:13 AM on August 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


My dog's got no nose. (Due to cancer)
posted by blue_beetle at 10:19 AM on August 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


My dog's got no nose. (Due to cancer)

How does he smell? Very, very old joke.
posted by fixedgear at 10:32 AM on August 13, 2009


Not to be persnickety or anything, but try reading the links before posting. Thankyouverymuch.
posted by digaman at 10:36 AM on August 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


"Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis." - Jack Handey
posted by mullingitover at 10:39 AM on August 13, 2009 [7 favorites]


I prefer to think of it this way: cancer is deep. Finding treatment or considering hospice is serious.
But learning to live with the disease can have its upbeat moments; it's from there that everything else about life becomes amusing.
posted by Smart Dalek at 10:40 AM on August 13, 2009


"Mr. Parasol, your tests are back from the lab. I'm afraid... I'm afraid the tumor is malignant."

"How malignant is it?!"

"...Sir, you have twelve weeks at best."

"Oh. Well that's terrible news."

"Yes."
posted by hifiparasol at 10:41 AM on August 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Cancer can be funny, but the guy in the Newsweek video was not really all that funny. You know, as a comedian. Seems like a good guy, just not all that funny.

Now, Lance Armstrong? That guy is hilarious.
posted by billysumday at 10:41 AM on August 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I heard that reading the links causes cancer.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:42 AM on August 13, 2009


In addition to the funny/angry cancer blogs, there is also humorous cancer merch.
posted by billysumday at 10:44 AM on August 13, 2009


Lots of text under the video worth reading.
posted by digaman at 10:44 AM on August 13, 2009


When I was going through treatment for breast cancer, I found humour helped. It helped me and it definitely helped my family and friends. It was kind of grim humour, but it still helped. When I lost all my hair (if you catch my drift) I suggested that in spite of being 40, short, and fat, I could finally audition for a Penthouse centrefold. And there were some genuinely funny moments such as when the drag queen offered me one of his Loretta Lynn wigs. The humour helped when I got so tired of being relentlessly brave and cheerful.
posted by angiep at 10:47 AM on August 13, 2009 [6 favorites]


I used to always read Laughter's the Best Medicine in my Mom's Reader's Digests. This is why I have such an abridged sense of humour and such poor health.
posted by srboisvert at 11:04 AM on August 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


When Liz Carpenter had to have a mastectomy due to breast cancer, she got a card from a friend that said, "I do have an important question to ask, something that had nagged at me. All my life, I have heard people say "a tit for a tat," but I've never known what that meant. End this mystery for me now. What the hell is a tat, and did you get one?

And that's funny.
posted by ColdChef at 11:40 AM on August 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


Of course, Liz Carpenter got a tattoo, but could not pay for it. She paid a tit for tat.

From The Critic, some 15 years ago:
Doctor: Arthur, I'm afraid you have... acute cirrhosis.
Arthur: And you have a cute little butt! Ha-ha-ha!
Doctor: No, you don't understand. Your pancreas is swollen to the size of a basketball.
Arthur: No wonder I dribble so much! Ha-ha-ha!
Doctor: This is very serious, you have less than a year to live!
Arthur: [pointing to tongue depressors] Don't look now, but somebody's eaten all your popsicles! Ha-ha-ha! Why there's a piano!
[begins to sing]
Arthur: I've got a liver the size of coconuts...
posted by filthy light thief at 11:48 AM on August 13, 2009


Another often-funny cancer blog is Alright Tit, which comes complete with an endorsement from none other than Stephen Fry.
posted by infinitywaltz at 11:49 AM on August 13, 2009


One of my favorite Jon Carroll columns: Nothing Is Not Funny.
posted by kozad at 12:07 PM on August 13, 2009


Christ, this is some of the least funny Kedzie Matthews shit I've ever seen in my life.
posted by dhammond at 12:11 PM on August 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


That "bitch on the 1 train"! God! If someone on the subway steps on your feet, repeatedly, then tells you it's because he can't feel them, which is more likely:

1) He is an atypically young cancer patient with a little-known chemo side effect, or

2) He's a drunk/high asshole.

If some jerk screams "nice ass!" as I walk by and then says, "sorry, I can't help it," he could have Tourette's. but he's probably just an asshole.
posted by vilthuril at 12:19 PM on August 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Who can take a tumor
Zap it 'til it's dead
Give you chemo 'til
There's not a hair on your head
The Cancerman
The Cancerman can.
posted by kldickson at 1:18 PM on August 13, 2009



In case it needs to be said, I would think there are stages to knowing you have cancer. At some point, an individual would be ready to laugh about the situation, at others, not so much.

I have a profound respect for the ability to blog through the journey. I am speechless at some of the blogs posted here. Certainly more to read....

FU cancer...
posted by fluffycreature at 1:20 PM on August 13, 2009


I have the honor of working as a support driver/flat changer/all around guy for the Hershey's Tour de Pink. The organizer is a breast cancer survivor and great woman. It was raining last year during the bike check in and we were hanging out, drinking a little beer and schmoozing. I said 'wow, wet T-shirt contest!" She said 'it might be a little weird since I only have one nipple.' Kudos to you, Lisa. Save the TaTas indeed.
posted by fixedgear at 1:22 PM on August 13, 2009


I, personally, find it funny and good that the fact that my dad has had three kinds of cancer has done nothing but turn him into a rather curmudgeonly old man.

I have a genetic predisposition toward cancer, but apparently I also have a genetic predisposition to kicking its ass.
posted by kldickson at 1:26 PM on August 13, 2009


Cancer Boy!
posted by benzenedream at 2:06 PM on August 13, 2009


If some jerk screams "nice ass!" as I walk by and then says, "sorry, I can't help it," he could have Tourette's. but he's probably just an asshole.

Or maybe he was just turned on by your sexy ass and couldn't resist the urge to express his admiration. He's probably not an asshole. Maybe you're an asshole.
posted by snoktruix at 2:27 PM on August 13, 2009


No, I'm the bitch on the Orange Line train.
posted by vilthuril at 3:16 PM on August 13, 2009


Or maybe he was just turned on by your sexy ass and couldn't resist the urge to express his admiration. He's probably not an asshole. Maybe you're an asshole.

True: One assholish act does not necessarily make one an asshole.

Also true: Catcalls are a dick move no matter how hot the ass in question is. If you think someone is attractive, there are less invasive ways to express it.
posted by hifiparasol at 3:47 PM on August 13, 2009


My star sign is cancer. I used to hate that it was associated with this horrifying, deadly disease, but I got used to it. It grows on you.
posted by Sparx at 3:49 PM on August 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


WHAT'S THE DEAAAAAL...WITH CANCER?
posted by turgid dahlia at 4:20 PM on August 13, 2009


Is this that new edgy humor I've been hearing about?
posted by tkchrist at 5:29 PM on August 13, 2009


Timely post. My best and oldest friend (and MeFi mostly-lurker) just had a thyroid cancer cut out a few days ago, and is recuperating nicely. Get well, brother!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:08 PM on August 13, 2009


How much of this is because 20-somethings have 'edgy' humor, and how much of this is because 20-somethings are more likely to blog? From my limited personal experience, there's a point for a lot of patients where the cancer is no longer shocking, but is still something that controls a lot of minutia of day-to-day life (try driving a car when you no longer can feel if your foot is on the brake. On second thought-don't). If you're the type of person to joke about your life and the crappy things that happen to you, you're likely to tell jokes or stories that are at least tangentially linked to having cancer.


As a random data point, my father jokes about his cancer as much as possible (the jokes aren't always funny, but he still tells them) and he's in his late 50's.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:55 PM on August 13, 2009


It's also worth mentioning Mefi's own Cancergiggles, who also wrote a humorous blog about his dying days.

R.I.P. Cass.
posted by Ljubljana at 11:46 PM on August 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


There was some article I read in O magazine (don't ask) years ago about a woman who decided that laughter was the way to curing cancer, so she dug up every funny video she could and made herself watch them during treatment. She survived and went on to do some kind of humor cancer thing...comedy clubs? I forget.

But hey, if it works...
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:44 AM on August 14, 2009


The Adventures of Cancer Chick, including her articles for the Los Angeles Times and her ongoing and still-current collection of Merry Maladies emails, "kind of a blog about breast cancer, except it's not depressing. Much, anyway."

(Downer reality check -- it's back for the 3rd time and she's pretty sick right now, but on the upside has been getting a lot perkier over the last week or so.)
posted by chuq at 7:47 PM on August 14, 2009


A few years ago, I went to see Spamelot! and bought a t-shirt that says, "I'm not dead yet!" Right now, I'm bald and about to undergo a bone marrow transplant, and I still enjoy the looks I get from friends and family when I wear it.
posted by litterateur at 6:54 PM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


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