An Examined Life with Jeff Allen 21: Laughing Over Bacon with Daren Streblow

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From world-renown comedian Jeff Allen:

Comedian Daren Streblow joins the show this week and his love affair with bacon is thrust into the spotlight.  This stems from a recent headline that read, “If You Read This Story About Bacon, You Will Never Eat Bacon Again!”

So, like any bacon lover would do, I immediately yanked the plug from my computer right out of the wall before it was contaminated by such nonsense filth! I mean, really, what kind of monster is the writer who would misuse their God-given talents tot destroy the happiness of so many innocent bacon lovers?!  Are health writers out of their minds?!?!

Agreed! I was eating bacon ice cream just a month ago!

These are the same people who destroy the dreams and imaginations of children by telling them rotten behind-the-scenes tales of puppet shows. (You know those puppets are fake, right? They were made in the slums of china by child slave workers just so that you can sit here laughing at them. It’s not even really moving on its own. It’s being operated by a guy backstage with bad breath named Biff. Biff doesn’t even like kids. He’s only doing the show because he owes his sister money.) That’s right – these bacon haters are simply evil people.

Their fundamental flaw is that they try to appeal to bacon lovers’ desire for self-preservation.  I mean, does anyone really believe that bacon is nutritious? Just because I sprinkle it profusely over salad doesn’t indicate that I think that bacon is good for me.

We don’t eat bacon because it’s healthy.  We eat it because it makes our taste buds sing like angels and confetti burst from our mouths in glorious celebration.

If these authors were really interested in curbing the behavior patterns of us bacon lovers, what they’d really need to do is go much deeper and speak to the core of our beings. They’d need to discover and write about is something to the effect of “Bacon has been proved to ruining the taste of donuts”. THAT would get us thinking twice before devouring more bacon!

I liken it to when I was told in school that drinking alcohol kills your brain cells. But then, in the very next breath, they’d tell us that we have something like 7 billion brain cells. I mean, I’m not a math wiz, but I’m thinking I’ve got a few cells to burn. And then they told us that we only use about a tenth of our brain anyways, so the way I saw it was that I could kill off about 90% of it with alcohol and still function normally. So I tried it. All this to say, I don’t understand why they try to frighten us into changing our behaviors with the threat of chopping off five-to-ten years from our lifespan. I mean, if I’m looking at dying at 80 instead of 90 and those last ten years are spent eating soft foods with a colostomy bag taped to my leg, I may be okay with having a drink and eating some bacon.

All this to say, a recent article that Daren discovered reported that most comedians border on psychosis.  And because of this unique wiring, they are able to come up with their off the wall and humorous observations.

Similar to putting bacon on salad:  telling jokes is like the healthy salad and the comedian’s psychotic personality is like the toxic bacon.  Together, people in general love them.

One factor that contributes to Daren’s bouts with melancholy (his own manifestation of psychosis) is his comparison of the world around us versus the way the world should be.  And what he sees everyday simply doesn’t measure up to his idealistic model.

Likewise, as I recently heard in a sermon – one of the biggest arguments people have against faith in a loving God is all the evil they see in the world.  Yet what they don’t understand is that the world is the way it is due to Genesis chapter 3 – the fall of man and the introduction of sin into our existence.

As the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous says:  acceptance is the answer to all my problems.  Not just some of them, but all of them.  When I can’t accept things as they are, that’s when internal conflict begins to boil over.

Now, according to Daren, there is another step to this – there is accepting and then there is improving.  Yes, first you have to accept the current state of things before you can improve them.  But then you can strive to improve them, to the best of your ability, and move forward.

It’s with this as a backbone that Daren and I discuss the comedy industry – how each of us started and some of the lessons we have learned.

Dating back to Daren’s childhood, he wasn’t even allowed to say the word “Darn”, since it may lead to a more nefarious vocabulary. This paved the road for him learning that by doing “clean comedy”, he received a much greater response than “going blue”. Plus it makes raising his four boys (or raccoons on speed, as he calls them) much easier since there are fewer “wrong words” for his sons to quote back to him. Not to mention that cussing and discussing overtly questionable topics simply went against his Christian convictions. It even took quite a bit of time spent in prayer when he first considered performing at comedy clubs.

Daren also discovered that he received warm receptions from other comics backstage as well, thanks to his devotion to putting Jesus first in his decision making process and praying constantly. Some would even say something like, “You’re not like other Christians I know… you’re nice!” (which makes you wonder what “Christians” they knew)

As the Bible tells us, we should be the salt and the light to this flavorless and dark world.  Entertainers – and everyone, really – needs to know that the world we live and work in can be a very dark cesspool, but in dire need of a light.

Not to say following Jesus made Daren funny. In fact, he admits that when he first started out in clubs, he was downright awful. He thought his stuff was funny, but his material went over like a pregnant pole-vaulter. But, like any good craft, over time it got better and better until he became the sought-after funny man that he is today.

For more entertaining and encouraging podcasts and videos, visit the E-Squared Media Network at www.e2medianetwork.com

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