I was in Anderson, IN in November. I was in my hotel room when I heard a knock on the door. “You have to come downstairs. Quickly, or you’ll die!” panted the woman at my door, whom I learned later was the hotel manager. It was the “you’ll die” part that I found intriguing.
“What’s the matter?”
“Well, sir… we’re having our regular tornado.”
So, I followed her downstairs, where she had gathered all us guests and we all watched television together. Because, apparently, if you are watching television in a group, no tornado can get you! While we sat glued to the TV, there were cattle flying all around the hotel, along with Dorothy, Toto and the Wicked Witch of the East. When the whole ordeal finally ended, the hotel manager said, “We apologize for the inconvenience.”
That’s taking a lot upon yourself, isn’t it? Apologizing for a natural disaster? What would have happened if I had gotten sucked out a window? How apologetic would she be then? Maybe I could have scored a free stay next time I blew into town.
That was weird.
Speaking of weird, the Olympics are like a “Weird World War” where the winners don’t capture you, but they force you to listen to their weird national anthems. Don’t get me wrong, I like the Star Spangled Banner, I just don’t think it sounds “sporty” enough. I think we should have a Sports Version that is played at athletic events. Something more like the “Rock and Roll Part 2 (The Hey Song)” by Gary Glitter! That would get people on their feet!
They have weird events in the Olympics, don’t they? They have walking races, for goodness sake! The winners achieve their medals by walking really fast. But, isn’t walking really fast just… I dunno… running?
“We’re not running… we’re walking really fast!”
That’s like saying, “I’m not standing, I’m sitting really high”
Speed walking looks really weird, too. Arms flailing skyward, feet pounding heel-toe like a duck suffering from hip dysplasia. They won’t admit they look weird, either. That’s just the way the “sport” is done. But, if it’s so perfectly athletic, how come I’ve never seen a speed walker in a Gatorade ad?
Then there’s the Equestrian Horse Jumping Olympic events. Can anyone explain this series of events to me? After all, the horse skies over a series of obstacles, and whichever horse does best, they give the rider a gold medal. What’s up with that? If I were the horse, I’d be really ticked off. All the rider basically did was hang on while the horse did all the work.
I think they should combine some of our more mundane events together to make them more exciting. Imagine a gymnastics uneven bar event where an opponent tried to stab you with a fencing foil! Or picture figure skating where the contestants could hurl a shot-put at the judge who gave them a low score! What I’d really like to see is a snow ski jump event with American football rules. Can’t you see it? A guy skiing toward the end of the ramp at breakneck speed while another team tries to tackle him! If they got him, we’d have a whole new definition for “the agony of defeat”!
What I couldn’t believe is when he told me that he almost gave up doing comedy altogether. He was going through a stage where his expectations were all based on tangible results that just didn’t seem to be materializing. He was trying to quantify how many laughs he could get and based his success on getting as many laughs as he could. The problems was that he wasn’t getting anywhere near the amount of laughs that he was wanting and found himself totally unhappy in what he was doing.
Since then, however, Tim has learned that God’s plan for him is to give laughter, not getting laughs. Tim’s words and insights come from God, so it’s not Tim’s to quantify or horde in any way.
This runs contrary to what a lot of comics say – that comedy comes from pain. Tim has actually had a pretty good life. He may have spent several years dealing drugs and running guns, but on his seventh birthday, he committed his life to serving God and turned things around.
Today, instead of worrying about the one person in a room of 200 who isn’t laughing at his show, Tim focuses on the one person who needs to laugh. It’s all about giving… and then not worrying about it.
(Having a really good lawyer helps alleviate the worry, too)
One thing I have noticed about Tim is that what you see on stage is much more like the “Real Tim” than most performers allow their audiences to see. And this is really important to him. It all goes back to the mission statement Tim came up with when he began his career: to make people laugh by being as funny as possible. This morphed into his desire to connect with each and every audience on an interpersonal level. In order to achieve this, he has to be more vulnerable and authentic than most performers choose to be.
So, instead of simply writing witty word-plays and puns, Tim started talking more and more about how he felt about certain aspects of life – what he likes, what he doesn’t like, what confuses him, where he fails, where he succeeds… and the response to these changes in his approach has been incredible!
So now, as he learned from Kenn Kington, in the first five minutes of each show, Tim doesn’t worry about making the audience laugh – he just wants to connect with them. This enables him to not just offer people a good time for a couple hours, but help change the culture!
For instance, while Tim doesn’t talk about specific doctrine, and he absolutely LOVES the Christian Church (after all, he’s part of it), he doesn’t hold back much in poking fun at some of the things that take place in today’s halls of worship. He jokes about church conventions, worship styles, preaching styles, and other stereotypes. As Tim puts it, if it’s manmade, then it’s fair game! And if people get offended by his jokes about these topics, then maybe they’re the ones who should be offended… and convicted.
The bottom line is that, especially if people come to his shows with their family, he wants his audience to enjoy a shared experience together. To often these days, a family’s parents go one place for entertainment (or even church), their teenagers go somewhere else, the kids go to a third place… and at the end of the day, they haven’t shared anything.
Tim wants to help put an end to this.
He wants his audiences to walk away feeling like their not alone – even if they drive home alone – that there are other people that see the world in the same way they do.
And he wants them to hurt a little… from laughing so hard!