People ask me to define what it's like being a comedian. I never know how to answer, because being a comedian is so many things. People think a great comedian needs to be a shape shifter of sorts, a social chameleon who is able to switch their material to fit the room. The truth is, to be a great comedian you have to be able to switch the audience, to make them view things as you view them. It's not about catering to the room, it is the opposite. The real legends of the art (Lenny Bruce, Bill Hicks, Richard Pryor) never questioned if they should skip a piece the audience might not like - instead they asked, "How do I present this material to this audience so they understand where I'm coming from." Because they believed that what they were saying was important.
Comedians for centuries have given you truth with a little bit of sugar so the masses could swallow it, but here's the real truth - we're miserable. Most of the time the punchlines we have in our head never make it out of mouths. Comedians do not share the same filter as most people, we have a darker sense of humor, a lack of morality and understanding of what is right, wrong and socially acceptable. We carry so much pain inside us, buried under layers of set ups and punch lines that allow us to seem normal, happy, and most of all accepted.
I never knew how to describe what it's like being a comedian until I saw this painting. This is the perfect way to describe it: it's seeing things for what they truly are no matter how boring, sad, fucked up or awkward; and painting it for you to put on display. We look at things at face value; death, rape, love, politics - we swallow issues, horrific headlines and personal tragedies, digest them and then spit them out in neat little anecdotes for you to chew on and share with friends and family safely, making you feel like you are not alone in your own head.
We are not smarter than average, just more broken. We see things as they are, and present them in a manner that makes them a little less ugly... We are the world's "selfie", but with a shit ton of filters to make life look prettier than it really is.