I Think That’s Funny

What’s another name for Santa’s elves?  Subordinate clauses. 

The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar; it was tense.

Why didn’t pi have any imaginary friends?  He was too irrational. 

On a scale of I-don’t-get-it to lmfao, how funny was that?  Did you at least smile?  Can I get a pity laugh?  Obviously humour, like a lot of things, depends on its audience.  Por ejemplo, I think puns are the funniest things in the world, along with hyperbole of course.  And some people agree with me.  But other people?  Not so much.  So are puns themselves funny?  Well in my objective opinion, yes, yes they are.  A more popular form of humour, however, would be sarcasm.

So what constitutes a good joke?  If everything is up to our brains, does this make a comedian some sort of psychologist?  Well, yes, if you want to think about it like that.  But they also have to be a bit of a psychic.  You see, a good comedian takes their understanding of human behavior and tailors their performance to accommodate something like a universal sense of humour.  According to Howie Mandell, it’s a lot harder than it looks.  And if we all have a different sense of humour, then why do we laugh at so many of the same things?

But what’s even more interesting is the jokes that only some people find funny.  Jokes specified to a specific demographic are unlikely to have as big a reaction as simpler, blunt jokes.  These jokes require background knowledge and an ability to understand subtext and context.  The jokes at the beginning of this post require some prior knowledge of English or math, otherwise they don’t make sense.  Intellectual humour may not result in sudden bursts of laughter, but often times, these jokes are even funnier than the gags we’ve all come to expect.  How many times has someone told a joke and you had no idea what it meant, only to be in public two hours later, smiling like an idiot.  Except now you’re not just an idiot, you’re an idiot who understands an intellectual joke.

There’s another confusing category of humour that no one quite understands.  Dark humour.  A baby seal walks into a club.

Not only can humour be based on contradiction, humour is a contradiction.  Humour is universal; humour is discriminatory.  Humour is funny; humour is incomprehensible.  With all this talk about humour, things seem to be getting more serious, not funnier.  Huh.  I guess it’s true what they say.  If you try to explain a joke, you’ll just ruin it.

I tried,

~Celine

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