John Pinette was a very talented showman who could make us laugh at his jokes and at ourselves.
By Samantha Emann, special to the Times-Herald
At 50, Pinette's life and career was cut far too short, reportedly from natural causes.
I think one of the marks of a great comedian, or any great actor really, is being able to make the audience relate as well as laugh. If they can encourage agreement with their message, so much the better.
Aside from his deadpan delivery and memorable catch phrases, Pinette was funny because he told the truth. Some comedians make fun of their own weight or the weight of others but not all could be funny while being realistic about their own struggle.
You might say I am reading too much into his material, but as someone who is also struggling with her own weight, I could appreciate the humour.
Specifically I can remember sharing the experiences of the questionable consistency of Weight Watcher’s bread, more than intense carb cravings and a proverbial sore ass from falling off the wagon numerous times.
I also have had lots of experience with different diets and sometimes-wacky dieting advice from people whose only qualification is that they are skinny.
One thing I have realized through all my weight ups and downs is that you need take the health risks of obesity seriously but also need to be able to laugh at your own misadventures.
His death throws into sharp relief the life-shortening risk of obesity and the physical complications and worse that could arise from it.
Although his weight went up and down, his story motivates me to just keep going, to try to be as healthy as I can, and to not give up when I sometimes make stupid nutritional choices.I will be honest and say that his death at such a young age only furthers that motivation to do everything I can to live well into the lifetime of my grandchildren.
Cliche though it is, reflecting on this has made me realize how lucky I am and others are to still be alive and able to change things.
Being accident-prone as I am, I am accustomed to falling off of things: horses, bikes, really anything that requires any kind of balance. So what is one more trip off and back on the weight loss wagon?
If I can get through Easter aka Cadbury Creme Egg season and the subsequent cheap chocolate war zone that any profit-minded store becomes, I will be proud of myself.
The most important things I could advise anyone to take away from the life and death of John Pinette is to laugh at his jokes, reflect on and relate to his struggle, celebrate his life and learn from his death.
You can reach Samantha Emann by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.