I was in therapy for depression and the counselors laughed at me, says comedian Jack Dee
HAVING recently turned 60, the cranky Jack Dee isn’t about to start coming in touch with his feelings or fitting in with the awakened kids.
The comedian takes a stand against modern trends such as “embrace failure”, blaming “addictive personalities” for ailments. . . and men applying moisturizer.
And in an exclusive interview, he denounces the lack of tolerance of a self-proclaimed minority which tries to cancel humor.
Due to theaters shutting down during the pandemic, Jack couldn’t perform on his feet – so he used the time to write a book satirizing life coaches.
In What’s Your Problem ?, he takes on the role of therapist and imagines characters who write to him with very modern dilemmas.
His advice is far from soothing, but it is very funny.
As a dying uncle, Jack has no time for “constantly wet eye and trembling chin” or “talking about things”.
It reflects the worldview of a father of four who is not about to buy a men’s bag.
Jack says, “It’s not old fashioned. This is the world of someone who turned 60 this year.
“It would be pretentious to follow young people and say ‘yes, that’s cool’.
“Carry a purse and shop around like that if that’s what you want to do, but I don’t think you should.” “
Even joking that men shouldn’t wear feminine outfits could lead to the cancellation these days.
But he is not about to give in to the trend towards political correctness which, according to him, has accelerated to the “climax”.
The deadpan king of comedy has been making people laugh for four decades, having started his career at open mic parties in 1986 when table serving was his day job.
Jack, who won the first Celebrity Big Brother in 2001 and starred in the BBC sitcom Lead Balloon, said: “We would all get along a lot better if we were okay with bringing humor back into the dialogue.
“And with humor comes tolerance, and there isn’t enough of that now.
“People take a religious stance towards political beliefs and this is new in the past ten years.
“I TALK TO THERAPISTS AND THEY LAUGH”
“I noticed it in the 90s. There were a lot of people who felt very Victorian for me in their disapproval of more libertarian views, and it just got worse and worse.
“It’s close to a climax, and I think it’s pretty sad.
“I don’t know how to deal with this other than laughing at it and inviting others to laugh at it.”
In addition to making fun of men’s bags in his book, Jack also enjoys hobbyists, Korean home cooking, homework, and threesomes.
The main targets of his jokes are self-help books and psychotherapy – a topic Jack understands better than most because he has seen shrinks in the past to help him cope with depression.
But he feels the advisers couldn’t take him seriously even when he was trying to express his feelings.
Jack said with a smile, “I tried going through psychotherapy but there is something on my face. They start to die when I start to speak.
“I could tell them my problems, then they laugh and have to apologize. I thought, ‘this isn’t working’.”
Having also successfully battled heavy drinking, Jack has his own opinion on how to approach personal difficulties.
It’s become popular for celebrities to blame their addiction crimes, but Jack thinks we need to take more responsibility for our actions.
He says, “Once you put a label on a thing like that, you empower it.
“It’s a very loaded word. If it is an addiction, you are an addict and there is nothing we can do about it.
“A bad habit is much easier to manage than an addiction, just mentally.” When he started smoking again after giving up the habit for 15 years, he went to a hypnotherapist.
Instead of submitting Jack, the therapist told him to stop thinking of himself as an addict and “quit when you’re ready.”
Two weeks later, Jack had taken his last puff of tobacco. In his experience, there are good and bad psychotherapists.
Jack says, “It’s largely unbelievable and I would never hesitate to recommend appropriate advice to certain people or to myself if I felt the need to.
“But I also think it’s a dangerous area full of charlatans. You can easily end up with the wrong kind of therapy.
One element of current group thinking that particularly raises Jack’s concerns is “embracing failure.” He’s not a fan of the idea that by constantly messing up, we learn from our mistakes.
Jack says, “You can go too far. There is currently a series of announcements on the radio about a teenager saying how failing he is as an army recruit.
“I HAVE FAILED IN SO MANY AREAS”
“The bottom line is that he fails all the time, so when it really matters, he succeeds.
“In fact, the goal of training should never be to fail and fail again. It should be about doing it right and accepting that failure is part of the process. But don’t start to value failure.
That doesn’t mean Jack thinks he’s Mr. Perfect.
He admits, “I’ve failed in so many areas and I’m not proud of it. I’m not going to say, ‘This is great’. I botched that ‘.
“There is too much attachment to underperformance. You don’t want that.
Instead of dwelling on failure, Jack is a perfectionist who constantly wants to improve his number and has to keep busy.
He can’t even relax watching TV and needs to listen to a podcast or audio tape while driving.
He adds, “I must have something going on in my head. “
Work keeps Jack’s demons at bay. He explains, “If you do it right in terms of production, you reach that sweet spot where you express frustrations while eliminating them from your life. “
He spent confinement at home with Susan, his wife for over 30 years. All four of her adult children have stolen the nest.
Like some during the lockdown, Jack tried baking sourdough bread, but quickly gave up and found writing the book and the new material a better distraction.
His routines often include jokes about his family, which they don’t take seriously because he says their conversation is full of “jokes.”
Jack explains, “I’m always careful not to say anything hurtful. It’s relatable. We all have relationship issues that I could talk about.
The comedian, who begins a 52-date UK tour next month, is delighted audiences are coming to see him perform after Covid restrictions lead to the venue being closed.
And with so many people now double-bitten, he thinks those who aren’t vulnerable should come out and start enjoying life again.
Jack said, “Let’s be scared no more, unless you’re vulnerable or you know someone who is vulnerable.” I want life to resume and I greet all those who take this leap of faith to come to the theater.
“Amazing things have happened to bring this situation under control and the worst part is that we don’t take advantage of it and we are afraid.
“We must each have courage and keep going. “
- What is your problem? by Jack Dee is published by Quercus in a hardcover edition on October 28, priced at £ 20.
‘MEGHAN, PLEASE MAKE ONE’
EVEN famous people have problems. We’ve put some of them to death, Uncle Jack.
Dear Jack, My name is Keir. No one in my party likes me and neither do the voters. What should I do?
JACK SAYS: It might help if you change your facial expression every now and then. This is my only advice.
Dear Jack, As the managing director of the BBC I am under pressure from people to be more awake. What should I do?
JACK SAYS: I don’t know if it is possible that you are more awake, is not it? The whole thing has become so overkill. Stand up, make a change. Say, “Go. “
We ended up in a situation where everyone is afraid of a minority voice saying, “You can’t say that.
Dear Jack, My name is Meghan. My husband Harry and his family have this strange idea that they are more famous than I am. How do I get them to focus on the real victim here?
JACK SAYS: Well, from what I’ve observed, I think your main problem is that you and your husband said you were going to leave and everyone understood that and could see why.
The mistake you made was that you didn’t clear. You keep coming back to us with more stuff and that’s where we lost our patience with you.
Yes, you become more famous than your husband, but for all the wrong reasons.
Dear Jack, My name is Liam. My brother Noel hates me and won’t play in my band. No advice?
JACK SAYS: I think you two are brilliant and chances are you’ll never play again.
Life is short and it would be better if you could keep going.
Maybe meet up and have a few drinks. In fact, don’t have a few drinks – grab a coffee. You will regret it if you don’t.