Can comedy be a cool relaxation tool?
What do you do to relax these days? Apart from steering well clear of social media, switching off the news and trying not to dwell on things too much, obviously. In the recent past when times got stressful you might have popped out for a bit of escapism, perhaps a big comic-book movie, or a wild rock and roll show, or, indeed, some live comedy.
You couldn't really go wrong with the latter, because we all know that a good laugh - and particularly a communal one - is by far the best antidote to troubled times. Now, though, we're spending a good deal more of our time at home, so there are different methods for chilling out.
Perhaps you might stick on some calming music, such as a grand orchestral movie soundtrack. If you happen to be in one of the North American locations where it's cool to purchase cannabis products, that's definitely a hot way to chill-out; in Canada for example, you can go to sites like MMJ Direct for a varied selection of gummies, gemmies and other groovy products. And then of course there's comedy, on the TV, laptop, radio, smart speaker, or however you get your kicks these days.
It's hard to quantify, but you wouldn't be surprised if certain types of comedy have become more popular on the streaming and download sites in recent weeks. It was interesting that pretty much as soon as the world's cinemas took a break, the film Trolls World Tour was released directly onto the download sites instead. A bit of escapism there for stressed-out kids and, indeed, their parents.
Family comedies would seem a good, safe bet right now. Toy Story 1-4 and any of the other Pixar movies are invariably a decent idea if you've a wide demographic to keep happy. Anything by our own Aardman Animation is also likely to go down well, particularly the Wallace & Gromit back-catalogue and their charismatic wooly spin-off, Shaun The Sheep.
As for British TV comedies, it's heartening to hark back to the more gentle end of the spectrum, such as Last Of The Summer Wine, with it's comforting shots of Yorkshire countryside. And that meandering theme music too, which really should have featured on one of those Best Chill-Out Anthems Ever compilations, back in the 1990s and 2000s, when CDs were still a big thing.
Although that would be a bit odd, if you went all the way to Ibiza or Ayia Napa for a crazy clubbing weekend, having a right old night of it in one of the famously massive nightclubs, then heading into the chill-in out room for a quick half-hour breather and hearing the sounds of Compo, Clegg and the old gang being banged out by the resident DJ.
Could you really head back to the main dancefloor in the right frame of mind afterwards, if you've still got the image of Nora Batty floating around in your mind? Maybe, maybe not - whatever floats your boat. These are, after all, interesting times.