Comedian speaks to MHS students


Media by Corey Melton

On Tuesday Feb. 13, comedian Greg Warren visited Robert Durham’s language arts classes to talk to students about how to be optimistic in the face of personal failure.

Warren has had two Comedy Central specials and has been featured on shows such as Late Night with Seth Meyers many times in the past.

Warren spoke to MHS students to practice before he goes to Boston on Monday Feb. 19 to speak at a National Association for Campus Activities convention. He has been longtime friends with Durham, and reached out to him to express his interest in speaking to students.

“I’m a comedian, but I thought maybe there was some sort of message around ‘is there a relationship between humor and failure?’” Warren said.

In regards to this, Warren promoted maintaining a sense of humor about one’s shortcomings. He said he has used humor to cope with his own failures, and he thinks it’s important for others to do the same.

“If you really care about something that doesn’t go the way you wanted it to go, it’s gonna be disappointing,” he said. “But don’t dwell in that disappointment. Don’t let that disappointment define you, let it fuel you. One trick that I have is to be like, ‘at some point you’re gonna look back on this and you’re gonna laugh.’”

Warren said it’s especially important for high school students to learn lessons like this, as high school tends to be a pivotal time for many people.

“High school is one of those times where you first come up against your limitations,” he said. “Everyone has limitations. And a lot of the time, when you’re a kid, you’re not really forced to come up against those. It’s terrifying when you first come up against your limitations.”

Warren said he is appreciative of the feedback he got from MHS students, and that they asked him some interesting questions and provided their own perspectives and stories.

“I felt like a lot of these students told me stories where they do have a sense of humor about failure,” he said.

Durham said he enjoyed Warren’s speech, and was impressed with how he seamlessly blended comedy with a central theme.

“I thought it was great, the way he was able to incorporate bits of his routine into a motivational message,” Durham said. “It just shows how universal his humor is, and to [incorporate] that into a theme made it all better.”

Durham said he agrees with the notion that the message at hand is especially beneficial to high school students.

“The message about failure is valuable because that’s basically the next five to ten years of your life, failure after failure and mistake after mistake,” he said. “And with the pressures of parents in society today, it seems unacceptable, but they’re natural and they should happen and they will.”

Durham also heard a lot of positive feedback from students about Warren’s talk.

Collin Gordon, senior, watched Warren’s speech in his Creative Writing class, and said he enjoyed it and found it valuable.

“I liked [Warren] a lot,” Gordon said. “His sense of humor matched my own, and it was hard to keep a straight face when he was up there. I can definitely relate to his message.”