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Humor in Dark Places: The Comedy of Cancer

The Takeaway on November 23, 2012 12:23

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    In the past few years, cancer — a subject once relegated to medical journals and hospital corridors — has become a recurring character on the comedy scene.
    Larry David tackled the subject in season seven of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Larry's girlfriend, Loretta, played by Vivica A. Fox, is diagnosed with breast cancer, and Larry wants out of the relationship. In his trademark awkward fashion, Larry tries — and fails — to convince Loretta's doctor that he's only exacerbating Loretta's disease. Screenwriter Will Reiser says that Curb Your Enthusiasm encouraged him to tackle his own cancer story through comedy in the 2011 film, 50/50, which featured Seth Rogan and Joseph Gordon-Levitt trading jokes about tumors and terminal illness.
    Author and designer Kaylin Andres continues this tradition in her new comic book, "Terminally 'Illin." At the age of 23, Kaylin was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer that usually affects young children. In the midst of chemo and radiation, comedy became her coping mechanism.

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