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Mandatory Strategies For Working In Humor

Feb 13, 2008
"Congratulations, Ms. London," I used to joke that the OB/GYN told my mom, "It's a Realtor". My parents owned a very old real estate stable family real estate company and were from a generation where, if and when an offspring arrived, especially a male, they were born to be bred.that is, bred into the family business, or made to be the prodigal son.

In my younger days, I was not aware of southern protocol and traditional family values, and, as I became more aware of my environment around me, I was certain I wanted to have something to do with humor as I grew older. How did I know this? I became a Realtor, and an unhappy and bad one at that.

I can remember being grounded, in trouble, about to get in trouble, or locked in my room with no going out with friends for some wrong-doing (never violent or terrible); just pulling pranks since I was very small.

Rarely do I remember my parents smiling and being happy around me except when they had friends over on weekends and were playing record albums by such comedy greats as Don Rickles, Tom Lehrer, Jack Benny, and the like. I introduced them to The Smothers Brothers as a teen, thinking I would earn brownie points but again given the pink slip for "developing radical taste in hum

I first tried standup at the (now defunct) Miami Playboy Club before moving to New York where I emceed at a small club in Manhattan called "Good Times". Times were not so good (for me) there. Keep in mind this was farm-raised in rural Mississippi and this was my first sight of the "bright lights and big city". I thought I was loaded with talent. If only others had thought the same. I won't "even go there" as to how awful I was. It was sort of like Dan Quayle in his memorable v.p. debate, but more like me debating, say, Steve Martin and my comparing myself to Lenny Bruce. Steve to me: "Mr. London, Lenny Bruce was a friend of mine, and you, sir, are no Lenny Bruce." I think you get the picture.

Years later I got hooked on humor writing, and was planning a book but decided on forming a group of artists and creating a cartoon instead. All of us were surprised when Londons Times Cartoons shot to the top of the Internet rating charts.

In my mid-40's after a lengthy illness, I decided to start opening stores, selling products with my cartoon images which now amount to over 8500 in number and our counter shows over 8 million visitors since 2005. I have to admit this was quite a shock after only 25 visitors or so for so many years, as it was only a hobby.

Starting a cartoon is not an easy task, but an interesting and educational one. No matter what branch of humor in which one may find their niche, it is a growth experience and a process.

If you love the arts with a passionyou will know it, even feel it, and no matter what you were "born to be", will not matter. It will have to come out in some way, shape, or form. Educate yourself, associate with those who have blazed the trail, learn all you can.I truly believe if I can do it, anyone who sets their mind to do it can.
About the Author
Cartoonist/entpreneur Rick London has created the largest independent offbeat cartoon site and comic gift & collectible site on the Internet. Over 85,000 Funny Gifts & Collectibles at LTSuperstore. Click here.
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