Comedy can be pure escapism, a way to leave your worries behind.  Any wellness plan should include time for laughter. It’s good for the heart, great for the soul, and it’s a whole lot of fun.

In the late 1960’s this pre-teen had a major crush on comedian David Steinberg. My mother was kvelling when she learned I chose “a nice Jewish boy” to completely adore. 

I first saw Steinberg when I stayed up late watching The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. He appeared 140 times (second only to Bob Hope), and his career skyrocketed with his stand up career, comedy albums, two Grammy nominations and a successful nightclub act.

“I used to have a theory actually that, if you’ve had a good childhood, a good marriage and a little bit of money in the bank, you’re going to make a lousy comedian.” ~David Steinberg

He was completely adorable playing himself on an episode of The Odd Couple.

Since then, David Steinberg has directed episodes from some of the most popular series (i.e. Seinfeld, Mad About You, Curb Your Enthusiasm), written books (i.e. Ragtime), albums (i.e. Disguised as a Normal Person) and also wrote The David Steinberg Show that introduced audiences to newcomers John Candy, Martin Short and Andrea Martin.  

His creative genius continues today as he executive produces Inside Comedy along with funnyman Steve Carell. As host to a slew of comic, well, geniuses (I hesitate to use that word because it’s so overused, but this time it’s appropriate) Steinberg’s good-natured personality and natural curiosity mixes well when he interviews and listens to the funniest people around. 

Don Rickles. Mel Brooks. Carl Reiner.  Jonathan Winters. Jerry Seinfeld. Betty White. Dick Van Dyke. Billy Crystal. Robin Williams. Louis CK. Will Ferrell. Tina Fey. Chris Rock. Jane Lynch. Brad Garrett. Larry David. Martin Short. Steve Carrell. Garry Shandling. Ellen DeGeneres. Bette Midler. Jimmy Fallon. Zach Galifianakis. Richard Belzer.

My husband and I usually watch TV separately. While he’s watching sports or “Law and Order” with our son, I’m watching Turner Classic Movies or anything non-violent. 

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What we enjoy watching together is anything that makes us laugh. We’ve seen live comedy with the likes of Bob Newhart, Don Rickles and Jackie Mason. When we learned David Steinberg’s Inside Comedy (Showtime) was available on demand, we were excited. 

Watching comedy legends being interviewed by a comedy legend soon became our addiction.

“Comedians talk to other comedians the way jazz musicians can talk to each other.” ~David Steinberg

In a way it’s our wellness program, a way to relax and laugh together at the end of the day. Sharing laughs with the one you love is priceless.

The man I had a crush on at 10 years old still holds a special place in my heart. Only now that place is a little bigger. Thanks, David Steinberg, for the gifts you’ve brought into my life for the past 45 years! Long may you reign.

Cathy Chester blogs at An Empowered Spirit, which won third prize in Healthline’s Best Health Blog Contest in 2014, was named #2 of the “Top 10 Social HealthMakers in MS” by Sharecare “ and received a nomination for the past 3 years as WEGO Health’s Best in Show Blog. She is a contributor for The Huffington Post as well as a blogger for MultipleSclerosis.net and Boomeon. Her work has appeared in numerous publications including Midlife Boulevard, BetterAfter50, Erma Bombecks’ Writers Circle, The Friendship Circle and Woman at Woodstock.