By: Ariel Fixler

To REALLY KNOW ME and LOVE ME is to know I have a true inclination towards comedy. The acerbic, the witty, true tortuous love I had with the world of comedy and the inner circle of comedians. My goal in life was to infuse any issue in life with a dose of comedy and dollop of acerbity. The penultimate recipe for the best possible way to handle all the hurdles in life. To know me and embrace me in all my entirety, is to embrace my humor and my love of laughter. I can laugh and cry in the same interchanging sentence (hysterically I might add).

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When things started to get really bad and I didn’t know if I could see the light in the levity, my friends made me see “I still had it”. I still hibernated “socially” keeping myself in line, but my commentary and views offline.  I had my friends chuckling then bawling and cackling again. I was still dishing out advice, witty wisdom and observations when I had it in me.  I even introduced my friends to viewing sessions of my favorite comedians and introduced them to broad comedy all over the “taste” map.

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My illness became debilitating and my presence felt so muted and invisible. I was angry and trapped in my own paralyzing disease and outlook. I also felt so powerless and my friends gave me the power in my hour of need. They let me see I still had comedy taste buds and that my thoughts were still relevant, fresh and new.

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My friends Robin and Valerie gave me a legitimate forum and let me see it was ok to laugh and seek out humor once again. Between them and my other friends (and my amazing editor, producer and writing partner) we basically hosted a late night/mid day off brand comedy hour. The forum was complete with “real” people interviews and un-billed celebrity cameos.

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Once they opened that door I became less resistant to others who had always cherished my humor and honesty. My guard wasn’t down, but it was not at all as high as it used to be either. I began to open up to the outreach that followed in the coming weeks and my friends took note I was less of a wallower and more of a spitfire. Taking out the disease, the decline and letting my comedy bone and honesty fibula SHINE. I love you all for that (shouts outs or not).

For being real with me and in the same swift outreach letting me laugh and breathe again.

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My comedy background:

I watched lots of comedy growing up. My mom and dad took me to see “Trading Places” and “Coming to America” when I was way too young. Oh man I loved them for exposing me to comedy at such a young age. I used to watch HBO stand up specials with them and fell in love with Robert Klein, Sam Kinison, Richard Belzer, Robert Klein, Robin Williams, George Carlin, Richard Pryor, and Eddie Murphy the guys who loved the “F” word.  I grew up watching HBO before HBO was HBO. I loved The Larry Sanders Show, Tracey Takes On (Tracey Ullman sketch show) and Dream On. I loved all these shows more than anything on network television. We even watched, attended and volunteered at Comic Relief as a family. When we later did other fundraising and disaster telethons (as a family) at the local NJ “Y” or “JCC” or “UJA” I acted like a bored and spoiled brat. WHY?  Well there were no big name comedians answering the phones or entertaining us.

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I also loved sketch comedy shows. I loved live comedy and I loved scripted comedy. My favorite weekend activities were seeing live comedy shows.

I loved “Inside Comedy” with David Steinberg (on the Showtime anywhere app).  David is a comedy legend and esteemed TV director. He interviewed every comic alive and deceased about their comedy back-stories and their motivations; which moved, tickled and inspired me. If you know me you know I love a Howard Stern interview more than anything. His candid vulgarity and brutal honesty makes him my favorite interviewer of my generation and ones ahead of me and before me.

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I remember when I used to see Louis CK perform when he was still writing for Conan, Letterman and Rock’s shows, before he became Louie, Louie, Louie. He had his usual and semi impromptu shows at the Comedy Cellar. He tested out material he wanted to use when writing for awards shows in Los Angeles. He also introduced me to the UCB Theatre.

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When fans wanted photos he would rather just sit with them and get to know them and have them get to know him. He got mixed responses because we live in such a photo proof culture. I always agreed with the right to want to interact and have “real and un-staged off stage” moments. Instead of moments that are riddled with photographic proof of purchase. That was one of my first interactions with a comic where I realized I had more respect for their craft and who they are than I ever realized.

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Louis CK, Seinfeld, Colin Quinn, Chris Rock and everyone in the SNL and improv community would always do pops in and have this little clique like table on the side of the cellar. They would test out material and literally ask the audience what they liked and didn’t like about their set. It was a sight to be seen. I realized their craft was prepared but also so impromptu and unscripted so much like life.

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My favorite dates were at comedy clubs on both coasts, going to UCB Asssscat on Sunday nights and catching surprise performances. I held viewing parties to watch current and old comedy roasts. I watched Fashion Police (not because I loved fashion) because I loved Joan Rivers and her acerbic tongue. It was a force to be reckoned with.

I found so much joy in comedy. I told everyone to watch specific episodes of comedians and cars getting coffee (Don Rickles Howard Stern, Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Larry David, Louis CK, Tina Fey, Sarah Silverman episodes and the list goes on).

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When everyone is celebrating the generic sexiest man crushes or hot lipstick lesbian “girl crushes”, my favorite people were ones that made me laugh until I cramped up. I am not someone who laughs out loud or “LOLs”. If I laugh out loud, I really think you are funny. I don’t write “HAHAHHA” or “LOL”. Comedy healed me in many ways that medicine could not. It made my spirit light up. Comedy made my emotions come to the surface. Emotions and humor I didn’t think would see the light of day again.

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As a matchmaker, I always told my friends not to be so shallow. They would complain this person wasn’t hot enough and they weren’t attracted to them (in photos). I kept saying these people were the funniest people I knew. To them that was like saying they are ugly with a great personality. Looks fade, but humor lives on and breathes new life. Also all said people who couldn’t get past a photo or 10 photos are all still single. So what does that say? Look within once and a while to get to know their comedy core not the exterior and superficial existence.

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Comedy and humor is a gift for future generations.  It was also my test to see how shallow people were and how ready they were for REAL LOVE. A Patti Stanger without a Penis Prognosis and more an inner comedy glow stick test.

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If I had to make a SEXIST PERSON ALIVE LIST here are my top picks.

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In no Particular Order (aka not ranked in order, just a random assortment like the binge worthy series list).

  1. Louis CK
  2. Larry David
  3. Stephen Merchant
  4. Billy Eichner
  5. Robert Smigel
  6. Jerry Seinfeld
  7. Chris Rock
  8. Aziz Ansari
  9. Jenny Slate
  10. Tig Notaro
  11. Charlyne Yi
  12. Retta
  13. Nick Offerman
  14. Martin Starr
  15. Jay Baruchel
  16. Zach Galifinakis
  17. Rich Vos
  18. Joan Rivers
  19. Nicole Byer
  20. Hannibal Burress
  21. Adam Pally
  22. Ike Barinholtz
  23. Danny McBride
  24. Craig Robinson
  25. Jody Hill
  26. Sarah Silverman
  27. Bill Maher
  28. Natasha Leggero
  29. Seth Meyers
  30. Nick Kroll
  31. Steve Carrell
  32. David Wain
  33. Bill Hader
  34. Kristin Wig
  35. Amy Poehler
  36. Howard Stern
  37. Jerrod Carmichael
  38. Kumail Nanjiani
  39. Ben Schwartz
  40. Kathryn Hahn
  41. Timothy Simons
  42. Tony Hale
  43. Amy Poehler
  44. Gary Shandling
  45. Amy Schumer
  46. Patton Oswalt
  47. Chelsea Peretti
  48. John Mulaney
  49. Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer
  50. Moshe Kasher
  51. Neil Brennan
  52. Tammy Pescatelli
  53. Ken Marino
  54. Julia Louis Dreyfus
  55. Matt Walsh
  56. Michael Showalter
  57. June Diane Raphael
  58. Thomas Lennon
  59. Joe Truligo
  60. Seth Rogen
  61. Paul Scheer
  62. Dave Franco
  63. Rob Coddry
  64. Megan Amram
  65. John Oliver
  66. Jeffrey Ross
  67. Thomas Middleditch
  68. Jason Mantzoukas
  69. Kay Cannon
  70. Lauren Lapkus
  71. Gary Gulman
  72. Michael Ian Black
  73. Morgan Murphy
  74. Molly McAleer
  75. Jenni Johnson
  76. Derek Waters
  77. Jenny Mollen Biggs
  78. Rob Huebel
  79. Gil Ozeri
  80. Michael Che
  81. Seth Meyers
  82. Jimmy Kimmel
  83. David Letterman
  84. Jay Pharoah
  85. Harris Wittels
  86. Steve Martin
  87. Martin Mull
  88. Will Forte
  89. Eugene Levy
  90. John Stewart
  91. Fred Ward
  92. Jeffrey Tambor
  93. Albert Brooks
  94. Leslie Nielsen
  95. Bob Odenkirk
  96. David Cross
  97. Max Greenfield
  98. Wanda Sykes
  99. Jeff Garlin
  100. Dave Chapelle
  101. Artie Lange
  102. Aubrey Plaza
  103. David Brenner
  104. Bill Murray
  105. Tina Fey
  106. John Candy
  107. Tracey Ullman
  108. John Goodman
  109. Conan
  110. Zach Woods
  111. Damon Wayans Junior
  112. Kate Micucci and Riki Lindhome
  113. Rachel Bloom
  114. Amy Sedaris
  115. Whoopi Goldberg
  116. Kaitlin Olson
  117. Charlie Day
  118. Glenn Howerton
  119. Rob McElhenney
  120. Jillian Bell
  121. Anders Holm
  122. Adam DeVine
  123. Blake Anderson
  124. Thomas Middleditch
  125. T.J Miller
  126. Richard Kind
  127. Luis Guzman
  128. Horatio Sanz
  129. Natasha Lyonne
  130. Jason Sudekis
  131. Paul Rudd
  132. Joe Mande
  133. Norm Mcdonald
  134. Greg Daniels
  135. Mike Schur
  136. Adam Mckay
  137. Aasif Mandvi
  138. Vince Vaughn
  139. Will Ferrell
  140. Marc Maron
  141. Rob Riggle
  142. Damon Wayans
  143. Marlon Wayans
  144. Chris Kattan
  145. Joan Cusack
  146. Aidy Bryant
  147. Vannessa Bayer
  148. Abby Elliot
  149. Michael McKeon
  150. Harry Shearer
  151. Michaela Watkins
  152. Martin Short
  153. Nora Dunn
  154. Tracey Morgan
  155. Nasim Pedrad
  156. Darrell Hammond
  157. Rob Schneider
  158. David Spade
  159. Rachel Dratch
  160. Dana Carvey
  161. Chris Farley
  162. Gilda Radner
  163. Phil Hartman
  164. Eddie Murphy
  165. Jon Belushi
  166. Taran Killam
  167. Seth Morris
  168. Andrew Daly
  169. Lennon Parham
  170. Kate McKinnon
  171. Jack McBrayer
  172. Ellie Kemper
  173. Paul Scheer
  174. Bobby Moyniham
  175. Donald Glover
  176. Danny Pudi
  177. Gillian Jacobs
  178. Alison Brie
  179. Ed Helms
  180. Key and Peele
  181. Anna Gasteyer
  182. Maya Rudolph
  183. Rachael Harris
  184. Kristin Wig
  185. Chris Parnell
  186. Michael McDonald
  187. Lisa Kudrow
  188. Cheri Oteri
  189. Jon Lovitz