Top 5 passages from The Joker is Wild, a biography by Martin Knelman

1.”A lot of the characters have this things where they think they’re in control but they’re not[.]” (138)

a. The quote is connected to his past experiences when working in a factory after his father was fired form his previously ‘stable’ job. The idea is that they can be funny, but they are also sad. This was a way of expressing some of the pain he had kept bottled up for years.

b This shows that Canadians, at the time of publication 2000, have a side to them other than the apologetic and kind side, an attribute of hurting, and a lack of means to express that. Nowadays, this shows how film can be an escape and a medium for people to express their inner thoughts without compromising any relationships or projects.

2.”Jim stayed inside the piano for almost two entire acts, emerging after almost half an hour. He climbed out and walked off the stage slowly.” (121)

a. The entire concept of laying in a piano after your act was done for about 20 minutes to then re-emerge just seems so absolutely outlandish and humorous to me.

b. Jim shows that Canadians can be very creative in their humor-based exploits, even to the point of leaving and reappearing in unconventional ways. Today, this would show that we may do ridiculous things to get attention and laughs from others even if it may hinder the quality of those around us.

3.”I just can’t continue what I’m doing.”

a. Jim realizes that he needs to become more than just a wild impressionist, but a comedian who is something more than a reflection of another, making this one of the most important parts in his life.

b. I’ve found that many Canadians have times where they feel like that they aren’t themselves anymore, and that they need to re-invent themselves.

4.”He could make people laugh and make them feel at the same time.” (36)

a. A fellow comedian, Mike MacDonald, presents Jim as being somebody who had the ability at a young age to make people laugh and sympathize at the same time. After watching some films starring Jim, I can see how Mike views Carrey like this.

b. Jim’s ability to convey both humor and emotions through his medium of acting and film are shown to be accepted and enjoyed by us as Canadians, representing our general love for film and acceptance of people who have talent.

5.”The element that makes certain stars exciting, […] is a sense of danger, that anything can happen.” (158)

a. Charles Russel describes Jim’s ability to be very exciting by his sense of danger, probably developed by his years in the less famous scene of a factory.

b. Canadian stereotypes for being overly kind tie in to the ‘sense of danger’ that Russel is speaking about, can also be applied to protecting or caring for those who are affected by said danger.

Theme: Broadcasting ideas through your own medium can allow them to blossom into something beautiful.

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