Funny or Die

Mental illness is by definition not funny — it causes people to feel very sad, and to kill themselves! Yet people who live with it, like those who live with the also not-funny cancer, often find it absolutely hilarious. Solo performer Paolo Sambrano, one of the supertalented kittens in the growing litter of performers nursed by director and superstar W. Kamau Bell, is a good example. Of his show, Bi-Poseur, Sambrano says, "It's about suicide, mental illness, and the death of my mom, but it's absolutely hilarious." The premise raises an important question: Is it gallows humor if you're talking about yourself? In Sambrano's case, yes, because the many jokes he makes about using a PlayStation controller to hang himself are literally gallows humor.
Sun., July 18, 7 p.m., 2010

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