Depression is hilarious, at least to John Moe and some of the comedians and celebrities who come on to his podcast, “The Hilarious World of Depression.”
Every episode starts with Moe asking the guest(s), “Do you think depression is funny?”
Not every guest says, “Yes.” Despite sounding anti-thematic, this is an important part of the show. The discussion of the comedic value of depression strings all the episodes together, providing a consistent story of different perspectives.
Some people don’t find depression hilarious. The show doesn’t discriminate between guests based on their feelings towards the hilariousness of depression, allowing for a full appreciation of the complexity of this discussion.
Though it seems that after listening to a few episodes, almost anyone could see the hilariousness of depression.
The motivation of the show is to destigmatize depression. This is simply put, not simply done, but “The Hilarious World of Depression” succeeds, defogging some of the mysticism of depression. The key to the podcast’s success is having an uncensored and translucent discussion of experience with depression.
The podcast’s typical episode features an interview with a comedian (and occasionally other celebrities) who has struggled with depression and discussion about her/his experiences mixed in with audio clips of the comedians stand-up. The guests have included John Green, Neal Brennan, Ana Marie Cox, Rachel Bloom and John Ross.
The show is not limited to the interview with comedian set-up. Sprinkled throughout are episodes that discuss specific features of depression or invite listeners to share their experience or favorite when-I’m-feeling-down song.
The podcast is more than just laughing at depression, but creating insight into the listeners’ depression or perhaps their lives.
Between the laughs and jokes, Moe and his guests have serious discussions of their experience with the depression.
During the interview, Moe will interrupt and narrate, mention resources or clear up parts of the interview. This allows the discussion to be natural and raw without neglecting the seriousness of depression. Moe has the ability to guide the discussion into an intriguing and thoughtful story.
“The Hilarious World of Depression” is worthy of any workout routine, commute or lie in bed for anyone, not just the depressed. The show gives perspective, insight and most importantly, laughs.
“The Hilarious World of Depression” just wrapped up its third season and will return for a fourth.
The show is produced by American Public Media and can be streamed on almost every podcast platform. Each episode runs for 30-60 minutes with exception of the live shows (“Hilarious Nights of Depression”) that are closer to an hour and a half.
“The Hilarious World of Depression” has a parental advisory and contains occasional strong language.
This is Cole Schnell’s third year on ECHO staff. Last year, he was the junior editor, advertising/business manager his sophomore year, and he made several contributions while taking journalism class his freshman year.