You don’t need to risk a lengthy Confession to have a good time.

But, you also don’t need to force laughter at so-called “clean comedy” that isn’t actually funny to you.

“Serve the Lord with laughter,” St. Pio says!

The older generations seem to have the class about their comedy whereas our claims to comedian fame, so to speak, are typically R-rated movies with poor plots and uncouth topics.

Would you prefer to have a good time that is not actually good because it’s full of naughty jokes and stories you aren’t so sure you want to hear? Do you really need to sit through conversations or visit places about which you wouldn’t want your witty, classy grandmother to know?

I hope you don’t! There’s a difference between authentic laughter and the awkward chuckle people force themselves to make because their conscience is trying to run-away.

We’re conditioned to endure curse words, vulgar insults, and scandalous situational comedy, but it’s rarely humorous in real life. What is called “comedy” in popular, contemporary movies is actually the mocking of serious issues or objectifying people. That’s not funny. Why do we tolerate it?

Here are some suggestions on how to have a good, clean time:

 1.   Watch clean comedians!

They do exist and in many personalities, so you don’t have to like the guy who makes funny voices if you don’t like the funny voices. You can choose another hysterical comedian that does different skits. Try:

  • Checking ratings and reviews prior to turning on a comedian so as to avoid hearing something you shouldn’t
  • Not making excuses. There are comedians out there who might be Christian but whose skits aren’t very faith-friendly. Just because their biography says they are of faith, doesn’t mean their work is.
  • Research first.  Find providers of clean comedians, such as Dry Bar Comedy that is featured in the video. They have a YouTube channel for shorts and renting entire shows for only $0.99. Pretty sweet (and clean!) deal, huh? Also, look at Clean Comedians’ list of, you guessed it, clean comedians and watch their specials.

  2.  View clean TV shows and movies!

  • Check the USCCB ratings hereThey will warn you if something is morally offensive.
  • There are even programs to screen your shows, such as Vidangel
  • With how easy it is to check a movie’s ratings, read reviews, or have it screened, there’s no excuse or “accidentally” watching a terribly confession-worthy movie—or at least not turning it off when you realize what you’ve started. If all else fails, return to the good ol’ Tom and Jerry for a laugh!

3. Swap Silly Stories!

o   We’re human. We do awkward, hysterical, innocent things every day around anyone from family to complete strangers. “Ordinary” life is rather funny. And often innocent. These are stories we share over dinner and coffee and late night snacks when we can’t sleep.

4. Make New Memories!

So maybe you don’t think that your life stories are funny? Don’t resort to repeating memes or pretending that random story you read on social media is yours. Just make new memories! With friends that make you laugh, go on a road trip, find a quirky roadside attraction, try camping, meet new people and ask them about their life, or try a new hobby that you’d never think of doing otherwise. Learning to make sushi or whittle can turn out to be a hysterical flop or your next big talent. You’re funnier than you think. Chances are you’ll end up with a new inside joke.

 5. Find Some Adult Activities That Aren’t Rated “Mature”

When did “adult” become euphemistic for “inappropriate?” Here are some ideas for adult activities that aren’t inappropriate but still enjoyable:

  •  Host a board game night! Try something new and conversational like Superfight, where you have to choose whose card would win, or Codenames, where your team needs to guess cards based on a one-word clue before the other team, or a classic like Pictionary or charades. Why not try Bob Ross: The Art of Chill Game? There’s even a Catholic card game on kick-starter!
  •  Going out to community events. Small towns especially have a unique way of celebrating interesting things, like milk or bees or sandcastles depending on where you live. Berry picking? Hay ride? Drive-in theater? Renaissance fair? Reenactment? Famous singer in town? Check out what is unique around you!
  •  What fun run is near you? Spend your next day off trudging through mud with friends in an obstacle course, being splashed with color, or celebrating and supporting a local heritage group. Even if you aren’t a competitive runner, there are plenty of events that keep you active and give you silly souvenirs for crossing the finish line.   

Before you’re tempted to turn on the comedian who tells jokes at which you know you shouldn’t laugh, think about how you really want to spend your time: laughing now when you know you shouldn’t and going to Confession later because you need to or watching clean comedians and committing to new adventures while sharing stories about old ones with friends and family (and going to Confession anyways because you can)? Saints love to laugh and still made it to heaven. You can, too, without the soul-weakening “comedy”!

In the words of St. Ignatius of Loyola, “Laugh and grow strong!”

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash