Comic Pete Holmes has some wise words worth considering in his AV Club interview about the similarities between comedy and religion:
This next part is going to be hard for me not to come off like a total dickface, especially in print…There is something proselytizing about comedy. One of the purposes of religion is to alleviate your fear of death. So it is with comedy.When we’re all together and we’re laughing at the same thing, there’s something connective about that, especially when we’re all laughing about a fear that we have, like the joke on my CD about thinking there’s a person in the back seat of your car waiting to murder you. Looking at the faces in the crowd when I say that joke, there’s always a couple people who thought they were the only ones.