The office star Rainn Wilson came to the Just For Laughs comedy festival to talk seriously about the spiritual suffering and “anxious discontent” people everywhere feel.
And he wasted no time in addressing the recent media storm he caused when he shared during an interview with Bill Maher on his random club podcast who became “mostly unhappy” while playing Dwight Schrute on the NBC sitcom for nine seasons. “I literally made dozens and dozens of headlines when I revealed on Bill Maher’s drunk, smoking, rambling podcast…that I had sometimes felt deeply dissatisfied while working at The office,”Wilson recalled during a keynote address in Montreal on Friday.
As it turns out, Wilson did a new version at the comedy festival after appearing ungrateful and dissatisfied after his success on the popular sitcom. “Dozens and dozens of outrage-inducing clickbait articles for the joy of browsing digitally: ‘Wait. That? that weird kind of The office I was making millions and being nominated for Emmys and I wasn’t happy?’” he recounted.
Wilson added that the podcast’s appearance came in the context of his newly published book, Soul Boom: Why we need a spiritual revolutionand his show Peacock, Rainn Wilson and the geography of blisswhere he “crosses the globe in search of the secrets of the happiest societies on Earth,” according to the synopsis.
“The point that I was making to Bill, which in the context was nuanced and vulnerable, was that, like all human beings, I was never really satisfied. Whatever success I had as an actor was never enough. when I was in The officeI went through periods of time where all I could focus on was the things that weren’t happening in terms of my career: money, fame, envy and prestige,” he told the Just For Laughs ComedyPro conference.
Wilson has even fired at Hollywood comedians who he says have rejected him for talking about spirituality and God. “Here’s the rub: In Hollywood comedy circles, all the cool kids pretend they’re nerds, losers, and alienated outcasts. But really, that’s just an act. And there is no better way to get even further away from the pinnacle of the comedy industry than when talking about God, the soul, and spirituality,” he revealed.
But far from being consumed by greed or ingratitude, Wilson went on to argue that, in retrospect, he now sees that he was filled with Duḥkka, which he translated as “anxious discontent” and is what Buddhists usually call regret, suffering, and unhappiness. .
He argued, “Everyone in the comedy world, especially, is literally meaty manifestations of eager discontent,” as actors seek laughs from sitcom audiences, comedians seek approval from live audiences in clubs, and comedy performers take the lead. YouTube or TikTok to portray weird characters or stories to get likes and fan bases.
“However, I must say that you are also familiar with this idea if you work in insurance, selling solar panels, driving Uber or agriculture, or the manicure and pedicure industry, because Duḥkka is everywhere these days.” added. people far removed from Hollywood fame are programmed to feel anxious discontent about their own lives.
Wilson recalled his difficult childhood and not fitting in with the cool kids at school and seeking addiction and therapy as an adult, and all with little ability to heal his emotional wounds. That is, until he set out to learn life’s spiritual and psychological lessons, starting with appreciating the impact of his comedy via The office had at the hearings.
“Comedy is an act of service. What surprised me during the year around the success of The office it was how much it meant to people, the role the show played in calming people through difficult times, providing healing laughter, bringing families together and curing anxiety,” he told the Just For Laughs audience. Here, Wilson stressed the healing powers of laughter. “Humor is the best of all possible medicines,” she insisted.
The sitcom star also took issue with notions that negative energy needs to be banished from people’s lives in order to live positive lives. “This is neither helpful nor true,” Wilson argued, as she especially urged young people to learn to live with and deal with suffering. “That is why psychotic comedians and comic actors continue to explore the depths of our pain, so that we can create laughter for service, for medicine, to alleviate suffering and counteract pain,” she concluded.
Wilson’s keynote speech came before the Hollywood actor was to receive the Comedy Impact Award at Just For Laughs on Friday.