Tragedy obliterates comedy and lays a jagged landscape for podcasters to navigate as shows are judged in the context of the moment and not the context of the moment they were recorded. A misinterpreted posting of a show can become a viral social media wrecking ball. Readily Random's Larry Roberts and The Safety Doc David Perrodin dissect the awkward dance of tragedy and comedy in the podcasting medium and how to lessen one's chances of appearing insensitive to events that beg the question, "How can you laugh at a time like this?" UNLUCKY TIMING & HORRIFIC CONTEXT. Hours before the October 1, 2017 Las Vegas shooting that claimed 59 lives and injured hundreds, Dr. Perrodin released a podcast interview of Katie Pechon of Cajun Navy Relief. The show’s keel was the goodness that unites Americans in times of tragedy (per natural disasters). Suddenly, this positive, uplifting show was seemingly misplaced in the shattered landscape of contemporary America digesting the new “record” of murders by a gunman. Dr. Perrodin recalled that roughly a week after the 9/11/01 attacks, America’s top comedians delivered a special tribute comedy show that they collectively prefaced by admitting their native craft felt awkward to demonstrate in such a twisted, smoldering aftermath that ended thousands of lives. Yet, comedy is human – and humanity is giving and caring and sharing and knowing that laughter isn’t a tarp over pain, but perhaps a temporary diversion or a way to arrange thoughts to a perspective that helps restore a torus, or sense or a ‘new’ “normal” to one’s life. PROMOTING A POSITIVE STORY HOURS AFTER THE VEGAS SHOOTING – HOW? Larry suggested that shows released proximal to sentinel tragedies could be edited to include a brief acknowledgement of the event. In some instances, he notes that it might be best just to bury the episode. David admitted that he throttled back his promotion of the Cajun Navy interview after the Vegas shooting – a decision he grapples with to this day. WHY GUESTS LAUGH WHEN PRESENTING TRAGIC PERSONAL STORIES? It’s bio science. Researchers have found there is some evidence that strong negative feelings may provoke positive expressions; for example nervous laughter appears when people are confronted with a difficult or frightening situation, and smiles have been found by other psychologists to occur during extreme sadness. Larry Roberts shared how some of his guests who have recovered from drug addictions and horrible life events inject laughter or humor into their narratives. From a surface analysis, this might give the incorrect impression that the person is not serious about their story. In fact, the oddly-placed laughter is evidence that the person is anxious and seeking a way to feel more comfortable about expressing tragic thoughts. WISCONSIN VOLCANO, LARRY’S INKED PHONE & GER’S SPEECH. Larry and David share personal stories of humor before the social media era – guaranteed jocularity to wrap up a very thought-provoking show! FOLLOW. DR. PERRODIN: On Twitter @SafetyPhD and subscribe to “The Safety Doc” YouTube channel & Apple Podcasts RSS feed. SAFETY DOC WEBSITE & BLOG: David will respond to discussion thread comments & emails. The Safety Doc Podcast is hosted & produced by David Perrodin, PhD. ENDORSEMENTS. Opinions are those of the host & guests and do not reflect positions of The 405 Media or supporters of “The Safety Doc Podcast”. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. Email David: Learn more about Larry Roberts and the Readily Random Podcast at

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