Jeanette Sekan
Jeanette Sekan
By Jeanette Sekan
The Cody (Wyo.) Enterprise
HCP columnist

I’m still looking for comic relief anywhere I can find it.

In addition to sometimes watching or reading news items that prove life is truly stranger – and funnier – than fiction, I was accidentally reminded that we have a wonderful history of legendary talent to make us laugh at ourselves and situations.

Laughter has a way of putting some things in proper perspective. I know it reminds me that even when things seem terrifying and hopeless, a good laugh and exceptional humor have an important place. I stumbled upon a couple of reminders of good clean fun. Though the names may be unknown to younger generations, there are some of us who remember the impact of W.C. Fields, The Three Stooges and Laurel & Hardy.

Even early sitcoms still have a magical ability to bring smiles and an understanding of times gone by. Dick Van Dyke, Jack Benny, George Burns and Gracie Allen, Carl Reiner, Dean Martin, "Laugh-In" all were part of early television and the laughter entertainment industry. So before you roll your eyes at my nostalgia, I’ll share some gems from a few of these geniuses. Maybe you’ll Google some and see what all the fuss was about way back when.

“Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people.” – W.C. Fields

“My wife Mary and I have been married for 47 years and not once have we had an argument serious enough to consider divorce; murder, yes, but divorce, never.” – Jack Benny

“A man who correctly guesses a woman’s age may be smart, but he’s not very bright.” – Lucille Ball

“At 20 a man is full of fight and hope. He wants to reform the world. When he is 70 he still wants to reform the world, but he knows he can’t.” – Rodney Dangerfield

“Please accept my resignation. I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member.” – Groucho Marx

“I once wanted to become an atheist, but I gave up. They have no holidays.” – Henny Youngman

“Alexander Hamilton started the U.S. Treasury with nothing, and that was the closest our country has ever been to being even.” – Will Rogers

“I do benefits for all religions. I’d hate to blow the hereafter on a technicality.” – Bob Hope

“It’s almost impossible to be funnier than the people in Washington.” – Carol Burnett

“Look THAT up in your Funk & Wagnall’s.” – Laugh-In

“Under certain circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.” – Mark Twain

“Guilt: the gift that keeps on giving.” – Erma Bombeck

“Housework can’t kill you, but why take a chance?” – Phyllis Diller

“You can lead a man to Congress, but you can’t make him think.” – Milton Berle

“To label me an intellectual is a misunderstanding of what that is.” – Dick Cavett

“Self-government won’t work without self-discipline.” – Paul Harvey

Humor, laughter, smiles. This is something that is always good for the heart, mind and soul. Now, I think I’ll watch a little more W.C. Fields and keep it going a while. What a genius.