Something about Comedy: Peekaboo

Here’s something about comedy: Did you know peekaboo is the most mind-blowing magic trick ever?

Everyone knows babies lose their minds for a good old-fashioned game of peekaboo. Even if you’re the lamest person alive, a baby will laugh its little butt off if you cover your eyes and then playfully uncover them. Let’s talk about why.

Here’s a quick lesson on babies: the only way they can tell what they are looking at is a human or not is looking at eyes. So take it as a compliment when babies unblinkingly stare at you at the store, they are acknowledging you as human. Thanks, baby!

Here’s a quick lesson on object permanence: when a baby looses track of a toy, in their mind, it has ceased to exist. A ball rolled under the couch might just as well have fallen off the face of the Earth. They don’t have the brain power yet to realize that it’s just out of their vision. It’s gone. Forever.

Put those together and what have you got? Bippity boopity peekaboo!

When you play peekaboo with an infant, you are preforming, in their mind, the most insane thing ever. You are literally bringing yourself from back from beyond reality. Let’s see that hack David Copperfield do that! Babies laugh to express their delight in your wizard powers! “Holy shit!” laughs the baby, “What a powerful sorcerer you are! I laugh to show my pleasure! Do it again, mighty magician!”

Of course sometimes they don’t laugh. They just stare, wide-eyed, speechless with wonder. Which I get, honestly. I’d say crying is also a perfectly acceptable reaction to watching someone dissolve the laws of reality. That’d probably be my reaction.

The best part is, with the memory of a nine-month-old, it’s a brand new trick every time! So next time you cross paths with an infant, give ’em a thrill. Summon yourself into existence.

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