Thou Shalt Laugh 3
by Phil Boatwright

Comedy concert hosted by Sinbad with Taylor Mason, Thor Ramsey, Horace H. B. Sanders, Lisa Alvarado, and Leanne Morgan.  The 94 minute DVD will be released November, 11, 2008.

The phenomenon began back in 2006 when producers Hunt Lowry and Jonathan Bock took a step of faith and brought forth the proposition that the world was ready for comedy of, by, and for Christians. Other comedy concerts had entered the video arena, mostly lying dormant on video store shelves, but Thou Shalt Laugh, aided by a proper distribution campaign, sparked an interest that has generated more sales than any other Christian comedy DVD.  In an era when laughs were so often mined from anatomical and scatological riffs, and the grosser the comedy, the bigger the grosses, here came a refreshing and, glad to add, funny alternative.

Most, if not all, stand-up comedy is based on life observations, but the actual delivery of such perceptions sans crudity and profane language had become near extent.  Thou Shalt Laugh proved there was a market for perceptive humor that was also non-abusive. 

Well, it’s a couple of years later and the success of Thou Shalt Laugh has led to a sequel and a bright and well-done copycat, The Apostles of Comedy, each worthy of a place in your DVD library..

After a sluggish start by Horace H. B. Sanders, whose unfocused routine met with merely polite audience response, Thou Shalt Laugh 3 came to life.  Sinbad, the quick-witted (I’ve never seen him better) host of the program, introduced Hispanic Lisa Alvarado, southern belle Leanne Morgan, pop culture examiner Thor Ramsey, and puppet master Mason Taylor. 

Admittedly, Thor Ramsey’s rambunctious routine, though not crude by today’s standards, managed to mix in some eyebrow-lifting remarks that bordered the tasteless.  This seemed to cause older ones in my small screening group to groan a bit, though younger ones were more accepting (sensitivities have changed).  But comediennes Lisa Alvarado and Leanne Morgan were very amusing, using their feminine outlook to make thoughtful conclusions about motherhood and the war between men and women.  Mason Taylor, as with T.S. L. One and Two, closes the show.  With his use of puppets and ventriloquism, Mr. Taylor reaches audiences of all ages.  His awards range from winning the $100,000 Star Search grand prize in 1991, to an Emmy for his TV pilot Bananas.  In my opinion, he’s one of the sharpest funnymen around.

It’s a pleasure to be reminded once again that comedy can be used to edify as well as entertain.  And that wit is always more satisfying than the I-can’t–believe-I-just–saw-that shock factor.

Go to the Thou Shalt Laugh website for more information and clips.