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Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Laugh Factory - Adding Therapy to the Bill

February 10, 2011
Posted By - Emma Venezie
Source Credits - Deborah Vankin, Los Angeles Times
A seemingly common trait among some of the funniest, most talented comedians (Richard Pryor, John Belushi, Chris Farley, Dave Chapelle, Rodney Dangerfield, etc.): demons, self-destruction, the need to retreat into depression and insecurity. These demons are what The Laugh Factory’s owner of 32 years, Jamie Masada, wants to fight. Instead of stepping off-stage and taking part in the parties and endless debauchery, Masada is choosing Psychotherapy. An in-house therapy program will be available four nights a week for Laugh Factory comedians, with treatment from one of two clinical psychologists accessible for free, no-appointment-necessary sessions that will take place on a couch that used to belong to legendary comedian Groucho Marx.

Source: monstersandcritics.com

One clinical psychologist that will be at The Laugh Factory is Ildiko L. Tabori. Tabori believes "Comedians are especially vulnerable…It's the only profession where you get heckled. You're being criticized right in front of your face. Can you imagine someone standing over Picasso's shoulder saying, 'No, you idiot, more green!' If you don't have the self-esteem, the confidence, the support system, it does impact you and then you crash and it can lead to other things."

And here is the age-old question: does the depression precede the comedy or does the comedy precede the depression? Tabori notes that "Research shows that there is a higher degree of depression and bipolar disorder in comedians."

There are already mixed feelings among comedians who perform regularly at The Laugh Factory, but what do you think? Would you take up the free therapy sessions? Would you look at the comedians differently if they did so? Masada has no deadline on how long he will keep this therapy program going. I wonder if it will achieve what he wants it to. Let us know what you think…

Read the whole Laugh Factory to add therapy to stand-up comics' routine here.

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