Date & Time: Jan 9 2011 - 12:00pm
Location: THE PRESS BOX PUB & RESTAURANT - 932 Second Avenue (bet. 49th & 50th Sts.) - Second Floor
Subject: Is Comedy Effective In Relieving Stress? Is It an Aphrodisiac? Is It a Mood Enhancer? Can it Help You Understand Life Better?
Come and Hear Our Comedy Expert Tell
Why Humor Is Important in a Healthy Atheist Life
New York City Atheists’ comedy expert, Paul Herzich, is also a psychotherapist by profession. He tells the story of X, a patient of his who was an operating room nurse—and a klutz: “One day she started describing her days in the operating room: She spilled ink all over the paper work. She accidentally stabbed the surgeon with a scalpel. She described four or five klutzy disasters and I started laughing,” Herzich relates. “She started laughing too. Suddenly there was a breakthrough on her part and she felt much better about herself. She took herself more lightly. Her klutziness wasn’t a big tragedy anymore”
Herzich says he experienced an epiphany with that patient. “I thought, what many of my patients have in common is that they’ve lost their sense of humor. There must be something therapeutic about humor.”
Herzich undertook the study of humor, attended multi-discipline conferences on the Psychology and Physiology of Humor, and after much intensive immersion in the field and a growing realization that he loved comedy, Herzich decided to open a comedy club on University Place in Greenwich Village. A far-fetched thing for a therapist to do? Herzich’s comedy club, named “Comedy U” because it was located near New York University, became a smashing success and operated successfully for more than five years.
Golden Era of Comedy
“It was the mid-80s, the golden era of stand-up comedy clubs because it was pre-Cable, and the market was flooded with stand-up comedians. All the comedy clubs were full, including mine,” Herzich says. “Wonderful people like Ray Romano started at my club. Joy Behar. Rita Rudner. Robin Williams came through.” Every Thursday night was Female Comedy night, the first comedy club in New York to have a female night.
Eventually, Comedy U closed because the landlord tripled the rent. Herzich, however, went on to teach comedy courses for the United Federation of Teachers (U.F.T) while continuing in his counseling profession.
Herzich also became a member of New York City Atheists, and he had a new epiphany: Atheism, he decided, needs more humor. He, and his sidekick Gabe Rodriguez, were the producers of our smashingly successful Winter Solstice Comedy Fest held in December 2010 at M.J. Armstrong’s Publick House.
Laugh at Religion & Ourselves
We have invited Paul Herzich to spread the word about the good effects of comedy. On Sunday, January 9, at our Brunch, Herzich will present videos of four famous Atheist comedians, including George Carlin, Bill Maher and new star Ricky Gervais, and after each video will discuss the comedian’s technique, his motivation and style, and answer audience questions.
Come, you comedy lovers, come and lift the grayness of a January Sunday by listening to laughter and good spirits. Enjoy the friendly camaraderie of a good Sunday Brunch in an atmosphere of like-minded people laughing at the world and religion and at themselves.
Learn how you too can use laughter in your life to lighten your burdens and make life more fulfilling and meaningful!.
WHAT: “Why Comedy Can Enhance Our Atheist Lives and How to
Use Comedy as a Tool in The Religion/Atheism Debate,”
a presentation by psychotherapist Paul Herzich with audio/
visual assistance by Gabe Rodriguez. Herzich will speak
after each video and open the floor to discussion.
WHEN: SUNDAY, JANUARY 9, AT 12 NOON.
WHERE: THE PRESS BOX PUB & RESTAURANT
932 Second Avenue (bet. 49th & 50th Sts.)
COST: BRUNCH is $20, which includes a selection of Buffet
Entrees and salad, one soft drink, coffee, tax and tip.
We encourage seconds on the delicious Eggs Benedict
and Eggs Florentine.
Cost: BRUNCH is $20, which includes a selection of Buffet Entrees and salad, one soft drink, coffee, tax and tip. We encourage seconds on the delicious Eggs Benedict and Eggs Florentine.