In the analysis of trends of what’s hot there is always one reliable way to prove that something is definitely making waves:
The comedy world embraces it.
Over the last few months, I’ve been witnessing just that. For some unknown reason, germs have become the basis for some very inventive and perhaps at times colourful comedic ideas and some rather fun initiatives.
First, it was the comedy series, Raising Hope. It’s about raising a baby and each episode has something that deals with the problems associated with being a parent. In an episode in February, entitled, “A Germ of a Story” the characters become witness to just how many germs are in the house and the fact that the byline, “Germs are everywhere!” is honest to goodness truth. Eventually, the family accepts that germs are part of their lives and they move on. The episode was actually well done and gave a real impact on how germs are viewed and the reality that exists on a day to day basis.
Around the same time, one of the most watched shows in daytime television, “The View” took on germs in the office in a rather comedic and fun-loving manner. With the help of colleague Dr. Chuck Gerba (also known as Dr. Germ), the overall goal was to show that germs are pretty relevant in the office and that one should take the time to clean their space at least once in a while. For their efforts, the person with the Germiest Office space won an award. It was all done in good fun and there were more than a few laughs.
The final example is where colourful comes into play. In anticipation of Global Handwashing Day, a non-profit group known as PooP Creative has come up with an interesting way to spread the word of hygiene and inadequate sanitation. It’s called The Golden Poo Awards. The invitation is specifically geared to 15-19 year olds and challenges them to develop a stand up comedy routine that will bring about awareness of handwashing and proper hygiene. Their reward: money and, not surprisingly, the Golden Poo Award. And I will clearly state here to the members of PooP Creative that I want one!
Perhaps the most endearing aspect of the role of germs in comedy is that even though many associate germs with dirt and filth and overall unclean environments, the actual use of comedy to highlight germs and hygiene is incredibly clean. With apologies to Mike Myers, the use of toilet humour in the past has done little to foster and/or encourage hygienic behaviour. However, with these three examples (and I am sure there will be more to follow), there can be a true adoption of hygiene as a real means by which we can not only stay safe and healthy, but also to have a good laugh.
And as they say, laughter is the best (preventative) medicine.