Addicted to comedy

Elaine Williams tells her life story with humor. However, Williams’ story includes extreme struggles with addictions, including drugs, alcohol and eating disorders. Williams’ use of humor can be traced back to chemistry in the body and statistics.

“I find that it’s so heavy. I love laughter because it releases toxins, it brings in more oxygen, and it raises the serotonin level,” said Williams. “When you laugh, it’s 43 percent more likely that you’re going to remember. So that’s why I try to infuse it.”

Williams’ book, “Stop the Madness,” covers much of the same content as her performance, but also holds even more of a focus on respecting one’s body.

Campus Activities Board brought Williams to campus last Wednesday to enlighten students on making smart choices, respecting your body and using moderation. The lecture, which was held in the Student Union Theater, began with a short introductory speech by sociology instructor Rebecca Hensley. Hensley, who teaches two courses on sexuality and gender in society, gave her own take on the issue.

“Some of you have helped to make these two courses two of the most popular courses on campus,” said Hensley to the audience. “I pretty well know, at least partly, because we are socialized in this country to think a lot about our bodies, and to think a lot about our sexuality, but not to talk about either one.”

Williams focused primarily on her own experiences and mistakes, using humorous, and sometimes vulgar, observations to draw attention to the moral of the story.

“It’s heavy stuff. I’m showing pictures of livers, and I tell my story in the gutter. Most of these people have been at work and studying and they’re tired. So if I can add some humor in it, hopefully it’ll help stick,” said Williams.

Overall reaction from the audience was positive.

“I enjoyed it a lot. I’m actually taking a course this semester focusing on sexuality with Mrs. Hensley,” said junior psychology major Bradley Heath. “I thought it was very insightful, and it’s very important that young people try to keep this thing in mind.”

“I really enjoyed it because it was for every college student,” said senior general studies major Megan Kahrs. “Everyone could relate to her.”