Off to work again ...

Off to work again …

There are reputedly lots of people in the entertainment industry with ADHD.

Why is that? Good question, let’s discuss that.

Let’s consider the high of performing. Taking chances provides a buzz that is addictive to us. And one of our go-to self medications is adventure/adrenaline.

And the instant gratification of success on stage is, well, pretty instant … and pretty gratifying.

Not sure what effect failure would have, does that ever happen to us? I suppose it does, but if we’ve had a taste of success, then failure wouldn’t be “failure” so much as it would be delayed gratification, delayed until we got it right. Nothing more than a setback.

Not that we’d fail very often, failure being relative, we might offend, and insult, but still, we’d entertain. That’s success, not failure.

In the case of humorists, comedians and the like, ADHD has a few things going for it.

What makes us so funny?

Funny is surprise. What I mean is that the things people find funny are often things that lull someone into thinking they know what’s coming, and then they get a surprise. Inside the mind, the funny thing is something that causes the brain to follow familiar synaptic patterns, then suddenly causes unexpected synapses to fire.

We tend to think of dozens of possible connections quickly and we unusual recognize the ones that tickle us and assume they will tickle others equally. Often we’re correct.

What else?

And we are impulsive and spontaneous, and sometimes inappropriate. We may say things we’ll regret, but we take the chances and we get the big laughs.

We are rewarded for our behavior when it comes to entertainment, unlike other aspects of life, where our behavior more often than not lands us in trouble.

These things stand us in good stead, whether we are doing standup comedy, improv, making public appearances, or hosting events.

So is this something that we all have?

I’ve mentioned often enough that we are not identical entities, not doppelgangers, so no, not all of us will be suited for this sort of thing.

But if you’re setting your sights on a career or hobby in entertainment, turn your fun dial up to the ADHD setting and let it rip.

And now, I have to go get ready, I’m hosting another open mic, like every Friday. I’ve been doing it for a few months now and I think my M.C. dial is stuck on ADHD. I’m not really sure though, I haven’t actually tried to turn it down.



View Comments / Leave a Comment

This post currently has 0 comments.
You can read the comments or leave your own thoughts.


    Last reviewed: 7 Sep 2014

APA Reference
Babcock, K. (2014). Fun By Design: Dial Turned Up To ADHD. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 4, 2015, from


Top 10 ADHD Blog of 2014

Subscribe to this Blog: Feed

Recent Comments
  • Kelly Babcock: That’s an interesting theory, so you’re saying that advertising causes medication?...
  • inquisitor: Point taken; the disorder wasn’t created by big pharma. That’s relatively facile and one...
  • Calochilus: Adding another dimension, the popular press has been picking up on the apparent increase in ADHD...
  • Kelly Babcock: Nor did I mean to be, merely agreeing. Always nice to hear from you, Susun, Kelly
  • Qfwfq: Nice delineation of the history–this article is a good, clear representation of the distances crossed...
Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code

Users Online: 12240
Join Us Now!