The Xanax Story


Okay, so bear with me. As someone who’s tried their hand at comedy (to varying degrees of success), and someone who enjoys history, I’ve long been fascinated with the development of humor and satire in the United States. I’ve been trying to figure out how to sneak this casual fascination into a class/scholarly pursuit for some time, and I think I may have found my angle. Mental health is arguably more widely discussed than ever before, and with that greater societal understanding, acceptance, and discussion comes–you guessed it, comedy.

Maybe its just who I hang out with, but if I’m right, everyone here under 25 has at least heard of John Mulaney

On that note, I’d like to share a clip from a stand-up special, New In Town, by John Mulaney. Mulaney is probably one of the better known stand-ups for younger people, and I think much of that is due to his repeatability of his material. To wit, I include “The Xanax Story,” where Mulaney recounts his experience trying to get a prescription for the anti-anxiety drug to in a way, self-medicate, his anxiety. It reminded me of Tone’s writing on tranquilizers, and the common desires of both patients and professionals for quick solutions. It also gets into themes of substance abuse that I presume we might touch on later in the semester. At the very least, I think its a funny routine (its a bit crass; if someone like Jim Gaffigan is more your speed, you may not like it). In any case, I hope it makes you laugh just a bit, and think about how society sees medication and treatment for metal disorders.


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