Coping Skills

The old adage that “laughter is the best medicine” has been put to the test by a pair of Eugene filmmakers. Produced and directed by James Blame and Ryan Shoop of Magbas Entertainment, Coping with Comedy is a 30-minute documentary that takes a look at the way local comedians use stand-up as a way of dealing with the trauma of various mental health issues.

“In the movie we briefly cover some very dark subject matter,” says Blame, who turned to stand-up comedy to channel the grief of losing his wife of 20 years. “Using comedy to deal with serious life issues is very liberating, in the sense that you find a common bond with fellow human beings.”

Blame appears in the film along with a handful of local comedians, each of whom describes in intimate detail the personal travails that get worked out as punch lines on stage. The comedy routines captured in the film reverberate with these lived experiences in a way that draw a direct link between the pain and laughter of life.

“I credit comedy with saving my life,” Blame says. “While comedy may not work for everyone, for many of us it’s a life-changing experience.”

Blame says that he and Shoop are curating a Magbas film festival that will take place January 2017 in Eugene, where Coping with Comedy will be featured. For now, you can watch the doc at For more information, visit