I never feel completely comfortable with someone until I know I can make them laugh. Humor has played an important role in all of my personal relationships, with friends, family and coworkers. For this reason, humor has always fascinated me. One person's sense of humor can differ so greatly from another's, yet the reaction of laughter is the same. Entering college, I saw the field of psychology as the most direct path to studying humor. My thesis was always going to address humor in some way, and I decided that the best way to study humor was through stand-up comedians. These performers spend most of their time trying to make other people laugh, but they don't seem very happy. I decided to watch local shows and interview local comedians, with the goal of better understanding this relationship between humor and sadness. Specifically, I wanted to find out how these comedians use humor to deal with negative experiences in their lives. I conducted interviews with six local stand-up comics, who have experienced varying degrees of success in their stand-up careers. The questions for the interviews were developed to best determine how the comics had decided to work in stand-up comedy, what their career trajectories had looked like, how they develop their material, how humor connects to negative experiences in their lives, and how committed each comic was to performing stand-up. Also, I hoped to gain a better understanding of what role stand-up played in shaping the identity of each comic. Interviews lasted between 40 and 75 minutes. I interviewed the local stand-up comics Iesha Renee, Shapel Lacey, Anwar Newton, Mike Enders and Charles Engle, and Michael Turner.