Funny vs. Joy

hello darlings,

Did you watch the Golden Globes on Sunday? No? Yeah, me neither. I haven’t had cable in like a decade or so. Just like those old cell phones for children, my remote basically has four buttons – Netflix and Amazon and volume control. And something called Sling TV, which to this day, I have no idea what is.

I hear the Golden Globes is something like three hours long. That’s almost the length of the entire season of Russian Doll (which I’ve watched twice now). I’d rather sit and do another type of nothing. No judgments. For example, the other day I watched this video essay by someone called Lady Knight the Brave who took the time to write and produce a video about Russian Doll that explains the background of the show, storyline, and things that you missed the first time around. Hand to God! She did!

For example, I found out that some of the same actors play different characters in different time loops. Bodega guys, EMTs, tech guys, guys on street – same! same! same! I totally missed that. You better believe I watched that damn Youtube commercial in its entirety to make sure she gets her ad dollars.

But back to the Globes. I can call it that, right? Globes? Honestly, I am so tired right now and really I just want to go to bed, but I’m a blogger now, so here we are.

Really, back to the Globes. I watched both Ricky Gervais’ monologue, Kate McKinnon’s tribute to Ellen Degeneres’ and Ellen’s acceptance speech. I laughed at all three. I have huge respect for comedians, and how they can walk the line of making people feel uncomfortable while laughing about it at the same time. For example, I have no problem with Ali Wong making jokes about how she and her husband “shit on Korean people.” And I’m Korean. Ugh, she’s a genius. Am I a bad Korean for thinking this? Is this a new type of self-loathing I haven’t explored?

What I’m trying to understand is the fervor around Ricky Gervais’ performance. Did he excoriate the Hollywood elite and become a conservative darling? Did he really teach us all how to really speak truth to power? (Did you see Tim Cook’s face?) Was his monologue incoherent and regressive? Is the answer yes to all of the above? Is there even a point to this blog post? I don’t know. Why am I still thinking about this?

Maybe I’m still thinking about this because of something Kate McKinnon said about Ellen. That Ellen gave her “a roadmap for a way to be funny that is grounded in an expression of joy … [and] … a desire to bring everyone together by laughing about the things we have in common.” I just so appreciate that, don’t you? It’s inspirational, actually. Words to live by. You can almost superimpose the word “funny” with any word – a way to be [human, alive, giving and so on] that is grounded in an expression of joy – God, I love that so much.

And then there was Ricky. In his own words, “Let’s have a laugh at your expense. Remember, they’re just jokes.” Dammit, I never want to laugh at anyone’s expense – yet there I was howling at some bits. I hate meanness. Why was I laughing at someone just being mean? Did we really need those jokes about people’s appearances (short, fat, old jokes)? Don’t get me started on that Judi Dench bit. Shudders. Who gets to decide what’s funny and what’s harmful?

I think this is where my head and my heart diverge. I love to make people laugh. Oh, the things that pop into my head. They’re terrible thoughts. Wrong, just wrong. Funny, but wrong. But I’ve chosen to act from my heart, sometimes begrudgingly, but always earnestly. I never want to be mean. But it’s so much harder to be funny from the non-mean place. Is it? Is it really? I don’t know, but I’m gonna try.

Alright kids, now I’m really tired. I’ll leave you this one last thought from Ricky … “We’re all going to die soon, and there’s no sequel.”


Subscribe to #TEL and receive my favorite finds, articles and odd obsessions. I will never share your email or send you spam. Ever. Read our Privacy Policy for more info.

leave a comment

TLDR: Be Cool

This Extraordinary Life reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, that comment on people’s physical appearance, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.

the personal blog of

giyen kim

Hey there, welcome! This blog is my journal, writing space and where I share the things I want other people to know about. Right now I'm posting everyday. Whoa.


Subscribe to #TEL and receive my favorite finds, articles and odd obsessions. I will never share your email or send you spam. Ever. Read our Privacy Policy for more info.


This Extraordinary Life participates in a few affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn commissions by linking to products from other websites, like Amazon. In more human terms, this means that whenever you buy a product from a link on this site, I will receive a small percentage of its price. This will never affect the price you pay for a product. Privacy Policy.