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How to laugh at yourself (w/ Nuar Alsadir)

How to Be a Better Human


Self-improvement, Education

4.21.1K Ratings

🗓️ 29 April 2024

⏱️ 36 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


Poet and psychoanalyst Nuar Alsadir believes there’s a thin line between comedy and the self-discovery often found in therapy offices. In this episode, Nuar joins Chris and talks about her book Animal Joy: A Book of Laughter and Resuscitation. They discuss the power of laughter, what it means to let yourself look like a fool occasionally, how to break down the facades we create for ourselves, and the unexpected revelations she had while attending clown school.

For the full text transcript, visit go.ted.com/BHTranscripts.

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Ted Audio Collective. You're listening to how to be a better human. I'm your host Chris Duffy.


I tend to approach the world through a framework of humor and laughter.


That may not be surprising considering I am a comedian by trade, but I really do believe in the power of laughter and of being


willing to see the absurd and hilarious even when things feel tragic or intense.


Today's guest Noir Alcedere wrote a book that I have been thinking about so much since I finished reading it.


It's called Animal Joy, a book of laughter and resuscitation.


And this book, Animal Joy, it put into words so many ideas that I really believe in but hadn't ever been able to


articulate in words before. Noir herself is fascinating. Her work connects some


worlds that I think many people would be surprised to find sitting together, poetry, psychoanalysis, and clowning.


So here is a clip where noir explains how she sees the interconnections between all three of those worlds. When I was in clown school, the instructor kept referring to moments when the audience laughed as poetic.


What was interesting to me about laughter in the context of clowning is that


people didn't laugh because something was humorous, they laughed because it was true. It was human. It


resonated with their own humanity. And that movement inside of the audience members,


of their bodies, is similar to what I value most in poetry,


which is when you feel moved.


In fact, I would say I would define what is poetry


by what makes you feel moved.


It doesn't have to be on paper.


It doesn't have to look like a poem.


It doesn't have to look like a poem it doesn't have to sound like poetry


or be called poetry in the formal generic sense of what poetry is I think it's


defined by its effect and what happens when someone feels moved is what


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