Comedian Michael Jr. has decided to release his new comedy special in an unexpected way: by offering it for free this weekend on Facebook. Because people have been struggling with fear, anxiety, and isolation, the comedian is hoping his special will be an opportunity for everyone to take a break from their worries and laugh a little.
“At a time when they’re telling us to physically be separated, I actually think that this comedy can emotionally bring us together,” said Michael Jr. in a video explaining why he decided to release his special in this way. “Laughter is good like a medicine, and I have to say that this is a time when we really could use some medicine.”
Michael Jr. Starts Asking a Different Question
Michael Jr. said he has been doing stand-up comedy for about 27 years. About halfway through his career, he experienced a change in his priorities. “Normally when a comedian gets on stage, the question we’re asking is, ‘How can I get laughs from people?’ Well, I had a shift take place, and I felt like God told me to ask a different question. And the question I’ve been asking is, ‘How can I give people an opportunity to laugh?’” Changing the question he was asking made a big difference, said Michael Jr., “because now it’s not just about receiving. It’s really about saying, ‘What can I truly deliver?’”
Asking the new question has led Michael Jr. and his team to places like homeless shelters, prisons, and abused children’s facilities. “A lot of the times,” he said, “when we’re doing a big show in a city, we’ll stop at one of those locations, really to make laughter commonplace in uncommon places.” And that idea is precisely what has led him to release his special for free in the middle of a global pandemic. “Right now because of this virus and everything that’s going on,” said the comedian, “our communities are uncommon places for laughter.”
He had originally been intending to release the comedy special later this year or early year next on a platform such as Netflix or Hulu. “We didn’t plan to do this before,” he said, “but it’s ready for such a time as this, so I want you to enjoy it.”
Michael Jr. emphasized that he hopes people will use his show as an opportunity to come together with others in their households. He also hopes people will spread the word to those who are particularly stressed right now, like healthcare workers and the elderly.
“I believe laughter and fear have a hard time living together. So if we could just take a break and laugh for a little while, I think that’ll be pretty awesome. And if I can be a small part of that, I absolutely want to be, even if it means that we take my comedy special and just give it to you.”
Michael Jr. got his start at the Comedy & Magic Club in Hermosa Beach, California. He performs around the country and has been on television shows such as Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Tonight Show and The Late, Late Show, as well as appearing in the film, War Room. The comedian stars in the upcoming film, Selfie Dad, in which he plays a dad battling a midlife crisis and the desire to become a YouTube sensation when he learns that his true satisfaction can be found in God alone.
“I believe in the power of laughter to help us enjoy good times and get through hard times,” said Michael Jr. “This Facebook event is one way I can use my talent to shine a bit of light in this unprecedented time of isolation.”
To those who will join, he said, “I’m looking forward to it. I appreciate you. I love you. Let’s laugh together.”
People can watch the 80-minute special, More Than Funny, at 5 p.m. CT this Sunday, March 22. It is appropriate for all ages.