recess radio program

Kid Komedy Will Crack You Up
    by John Cech

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That's Michelle, with two jokes from her stand-up routine on a CD called The Best of Kid Komedy -- over forty-five minutes of good jokes from young people who have taken comedy classes or gone to summer camps offered by the Kid Komedy Foundation which is based in the Atlanta area. The kids on this recording have all gone through workshops in which they write their own jokes, critique them, and practice their delivery. The central purposes of the Foundation are, in their words, "to enhance creativity, increase self-esteem, improve public speaking and presentation skills, teach humor as a coping and communication technique, and facilitate family bonding." There is also a larger, more serious dimension to humor which the Foundation is keenly aware of: humor can help to defuse stressful, even violent situations; and it can ventilate anger and frustration:

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Here are jokes about braces and siblings, teachers and friends, lunch ladies and, of course, parents

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The kids even try out some jokes that play with ethnic and racial stereotypes. The hope is that if we can laugh -- honestly and generously -- at our differences together, we can start to bridge these divides . To listen to these kids and their wildly appreciative audiences, they're already laying the foundations for that bridge:

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Copyright 2003 John Cech

Today's program featured the following work:

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"Recess!" is a co-production of the University of Florida's Center for Children's Literature and Culture and WUFT-FM, "Classic 89."