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Vicki Lawrence on the therapeutic effects of starring in The Carol Burnett Show

Let's face it. Life is the biggest, most stressful thing any of us will ever endure. If you're lucky enough, it's only five days a week that you're crushed under the weight of constant existential dread. All our anxieties and worries and failures and guilt just build and build for decades.   And then one day, it's all over. That's your best-case scenario.

In confronting all this, sometimes it's easy to forget how important can be. It seems like each year, laughter becomes more of a radical weapon to combat the ills. It's often our last vestige of humanity. They can take our time. They can take our money. But, darn it, we reserve the right to chuckle.

Someone intimately familiar with the pressure-release of laughter is Vicki Lawrence. She made a career out of entertaining and distracting the masses from whatever doldrums they suffered from. "But, Doctor," you might think, "what if I am Pagliacci—er, Vicki Lawrence?" Well, it seems Lawrence could turn the laughter inward as well, as expressed in a 1976 interview with the San Bernadino County Sun

"Once," recalled Lawrence, "we were doing a looney take-off of a scene from Gone With the Wind. The script called for Carol to slap me every time I screamed. Scream! Slap! More screams! More slaps!" 

As the journalist noted, Lawrence regaled with these details wearing an ecstatic smile.

"Can you imagine, she continued, "what a terrific way this is to rid yourself of tensions? I mean: Could you go on a screaming binge in the office? Could you let it out, all out, at home without someone calling the strait jacket brigade?"

So, next time it feels like it's all come crashing down, remember: Just laugh and yell and get slapped around by Carol Burnett. By following these three steps, you'll be back to normal in no time. 

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