- Listen to Ron's Interview with Jerry Zezima -
Lightness in August: Taking Time to Enjoy a Good Laugh
Life is challenging for everyone these days. If it’s not one bill, it’s another. If it’s not culture wars, it’s inflation. We’re faced with constant feelings of insecurity, not knowing if we will be OK tomorrow. So how do we lighten up amid all this chaos? In today’s episode, columnist Jerry Zezima, an unshakeable humorist, syndicated newspaper columnist and author of six books, including most recently “One for the Ageless,” talks about his craft and why laughter is so important in keeping us sane and healthy—especially through our elder years. Academic experts who study humor (yes, they do exist) regrettably point out that most people start to lose their sense of humor starting around age 23—and it doesn’t rebound until our retirement years. At the same time, we’ve also learned that laughter, while perhaps not literally the best medicine, is very good for our health—like vegetables or therapy, only more fun. Psychologists and physicians cite lots of research showing the many benefits of humor, especially as we age. It relieves stress, helps ease anxiety and depression. It supports our immune system, helps lower blood pressure, and relaxes our muscles. But Jerry did not become a humorist for his health. He writes with a lens focused on laughter because that’s who he’s always been (it didn’t t stop at age 23) and because he is relentlessly curious, exploring life for small, unexpected moments of connection—or incongruity. He is an incurable pundit. He has made many radio and television appearances; done several YouTube videos, is a popular public speaker, and he is writing a sitcom. Whatever the venue, he will nudge you with gentle humor until you surrender to a smile. He has the time. His still has an active family life in so-called retirement, with his wife, two daughters, and five grandchildren. But he insists, he has no interesting hobbies.
Jerry Zezima writes a humor column for Tribune News Service, which distributes it to papers nationwide and abroad. He is the author of six books, “Leave It to Boomer,” “The Empty Nest Chronicles,” “Grandfather Knows Best,” “Nini and Poppie’s Excellent Adventures,” “Every Day Is Saturday” and “One for the Ageless.” Jerry has won many awards, including seven for humorous writing from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. He has made many radio and television appearances; he also has done several YouTube videos, is a popular public speaker, and he is writing a sitcom. He also has a blog: jerryzezima.blogspot.com. Jerry lives on Long Island, N.Y., with his wife, Sue. They have two daughters and five grandchildren.