If the old adage that laughter is the best medicine is true, then T.C. Cope brought a whole lot of healing to McMinnville last Friday night.
“He was hilarious,” said Mayor Jimmy Haley. “Terry would have us laughing when I had him in economics class. He’s even funnier now.”
Cope was raised in McMinnville and made many references to that.
“My grandmother said ‘You going to college, you going into the Army or you going the h*ll up out of my house. I don’t care which,’” said Cope. “It felt good to leave. I went to MTSU. I had a good time there. I met a lot of people. I got to see some real girls. Not that there weren’t any real girls in McMinnville, but we was cousins. We was cousins to everybody. How you gonna find a woman when everybody is kin?”
A graduate of Warren County High School in 1980, many of Cope’s classmates came out to watch his performance.
“He was great,” said Wayne Wolford. “I’ve heard him perform before, but he’s even better now. He’s getting better every year. Hopefully, he’ll come back next year for those who missed it this year. He’s very funny.”
Stacey Southard said, “My husband went to school with him. We came out to support him. He was very funny. I laughed the whole time. It was worth it.”
Bruce Atnip said he remembers Cope as a “cut-up” who was always joking and acting up.
Now at 53, Cope still has it, or so he says.
“I think I look good. I’m 53. I’ll be 54 next month. Clap for that,” said Cope. “I think I look halfway good. I know I ain’t no Denzel Washington. I know that. I also know I’m not Favor Flav.”
The statement brought a round of laughter, to which Cope added, “You know what I’m saying? Flavor Flav is the ugliest thing ever. If I see somebody walking like him, I’m going the other direction. Instead of calling that show ‘The Flavor of Love,’ they should have called it ‘Which one of you trolls want to date a Gremlin?’ I don’t want to ever seen him drinking no water either. Gremlins multiply when you pour water on them. That’s a whole lot of ugly to mess around and make another one.”
Cope did not disappoint, leaving audience members teary-eyed with reminiscing about his childhood.
“My grandmother tried to keep me from peeing in the bed. She did everything she could. She would whoop me. She tried to embarrass me. She would put my sheets outside on the line so my friends could see it. They was calling me nicknames. Couple of them called me sunshine, because it had that big yellow ring on it. I could not stop peeing in the bed. My grandmother said ‘I know how to break you.’ She jacked that sheet off the bed and rubbed it in my face. Call it what you want but I haven’t peed in the bed since.”
Cope offers a unique brand of comedy with a message, “Laughing is Living” as a technique for survival.