I have wanted to do this post for a long time. I knew it would take time and I would want it to be great. I wanted to honor so many people who I consider my personal heroes.
Now these are people who speak to my life and who I admire and adore. That isn't to say that they are saintly, but they made a lasting and important impact on my life.
There are people who will always inspire me and who give their lives to serve others and to make the world a better place. These are the true heroes, people like Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., the Dali Llama, Mother Teresa and others who truly deserve praise. But this list is a little different. This is my special hand-picked list of people who made my heart smile and most of them made me laugh, and maybe even cry, over the years.
1) JIM HENSON This man was a creative genius. He created the beloved Muppets and all of the characters on Seame Street. I loved watching Seasme Street when I was little. I loved all of the monsters so, so much but my favorite was probably Grover. When he would sit and have his one-to-one talks with the kids. So perfect! Being a child of the 80s, I loved the Muppets Show too and all the Muppet movies. I am so lucky I was a child during this time. Seasme Street is different now, it was better back then. I mean where else could you see Stevie Wonder jamming out to "Very Superstitious" with a bunch of kids and muppets around, except on Seasme street in the 70s. Nowhere, that is where! It is simply childhood, fuzzy feeling wonderment, smiles and happiness.
2) LILY TOMLIN Another favorite lady comedian who also appeared on Seasme Street. She was so funny, from that show, to movies like, "The Incredilbe Shrinking Woman" to the telephone operator, Ernestine to her movie with Steve Martin, "All of Me", I just love her. Recently, she appeared in a very serious role on one of my favorite shows, "Damages".
3) DAVE CHAPPELLE I remember the first few times I saw Dave Chappelle, it was in movies like "Half Baked" and I thought he was really funny but I had no idea how funny he really was and what a comedic genius, until he started The Chappelle Show. And WOW, just WOW. I mean it was so brilliant, hilarious, original and so perfect. It was as if he was writing it specifically for me and my friends!! We would get together on the nights the show came on Comedy Central, I think it was Thursdays and have parties. We loved it. My husband and I tell other people that this show brought us together because we both emailed (remember we met online before we actually met) and we would talk about our favorite shows and music. So of course this was one of the first things we both talked about loving. He brought it along with him on our first date! Oh Dave, you're the best! REALLY!
4) CHRIS FARLEY This man was such a ray of light and happiness. I loved him from the first time I saw him on Saturday Night Live. He was a master at phyiscal comedy. He not only made the guest stars crack up but the regular cast too. He was super funny in his movies, like Tommy Boy and Black Sheep. When I was going through a difficult time, my sister got me the best of Chris Farley from SNL on DVD and I would watch it when I felt really low and really need to laugh. I was so sad when he passed away, what a loss
5) AMY TAN Ok, I know what you are all thinking, this is just a list of all of her favorite comedians but oh no, I R-E-A-D too!! I love the literary master and author, Amy Tan. You might know her most famous book, "The Joy Luck Club" which was also made into a movie. I love her style of writing, the way she can make me feel the raw emotion of her characters and always leave me wanting more. I have written about her books before in previous posts, and I will say again, if you haven't read her books, please give them a try. You won't be able to put the book down! I have always admired authors for being able to write like that. Plan out a whole novel and make the characters lives intertwine and make the story flow, make it relevant and most challenging of all make it so interesting and so powerful that you think about the story for years afterward. She has this gift and I admire her very much for it.