Friday, August 29, 2008

Funny Bone

Humor is an integral part of human life. We all strive to laugh and enjoy ourselves, but there is a lot involved.

The great thing about humor is the risk that is required. When you make a statement like "South Africa is really going through hard times", there is no risk. When you add "that's because you can't get much harder than diamonds", you put yourself out there to face ridicule, and even worse, silence. Make jokes like that too many times and you will end up without friends.

Everyone's sense of humor is different. By telling a joke, you may end up insulting someone. I've never understood how insulted some people can get by comedy. They are trying to make you laugh, not attacking your kids with a bat. No need to burst into flames.

Comedians are some of the bravest people on Earth. If you boo a bad band, you are a jerk. If you boo a bad comedian, you are just part of the crowd.

Refusing to be funny, on the other hand, labels you as boring. Damn us complex humans. It's all just a giant balance act.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not only humor is interesting, but I am sure you already know that. :) And then there are those of us, cursed to be funny even as we try in earnest to be stoic. Sigh.

jq said...

BOOOOO!! What a boring post...

"If you boo a bad band, you are a jerk. If you boo a bad comedian, you are just part of the crowd."

Maybe so, but I don't think it's as arbitrary as that.

When a band sings, they're performing pre-defined songs that most of the audience has probably heard before; if the audience is dissatisfied, then it's their fault for showing up, not the band's.

On the other hand, a comedian's job is to entertain a crowd non-stop with fresh material; they rely on second-by-second feedback (applause, silence, and/or booing) to steer their sets and keep the audience going. Some of the best comedy actually comes from comedians heckling their own hecklers.

"I've never understood how insulted some people can get by comedy. They are trying to make you laugh, not attacking your kids with a bat. No need to burst into flames."

Not always true. A comedian is always trying to make someone laugh, but not necessarily me; I don't appreciate it when that laugh comes at my expense, or worse, at the expense of my deeply-held convictions. Some of the most effective insults are the ones wrapped in a joke. They seem to get more mileage and stick in the mind longer that way.

As I've commented before, I have a shameful reputation for possessing a quick, sarcastic wit; I can be hilarious, but I can also be incredibly cruel, often simultaneously. Humor can cause damage.

("BOOOOO!! What a boring comment....")

Anonymous said...

Yes, I think it's fair to say there are definitely those who get more than their fair share of ribbing. :/:)