RE:FRAMED: What makes something funny?

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Why is it that some things are funny to others and some aren’t? I hate it when people have an undeveloped sense of humor like someone who doesn’t understand or “get” a pun but they think taking someone’s glasses and hovering it above their head while taunting is hilarious. That may just be because they haven’t been exposed to wonderful sources of actual comedic material like the above picture of George Carlin.

George Carlin is one of the funniest comedians alive because of his views and opinions of the world as well as his attitude. He’s just so real and it’s almost like he’s right in front of you and tangible. His use of satire is what really delivers the comedy. He takes something that is hilariously wrong and looks at it objectively and says it like it is and ventures into territory that no one is ever comfortable talking about.

““We’re so self-important. So arrogant. Everybody’s going to save something now. Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save the snails. And the supreme arrogance? Save the planet! Are these people kidding? Save the planet? We don’t even know how to take care of ourselves; we haven’t learned how to care for one another.”
-George Carlin

Some people just aren’t born with the gift of humor however. But is that really true? Can everybody be funny at times? Spock is in my opinion one of the funniest characters in Star Trek. He doesn’t do it intentionally of course. His analysis of every single thing and the Vulcan mindset makes it hilarious what he does.

“I have never understood the female capacity to avoid a direct answer to any question.”
-Spock

Some jokes have bad tastes like perhaps the joke above, a generalization about women. Perhaps jokes are bad because we might not know the whole context of what had happened. For example, cracking a yo mama joke at someone who’s mother had just passed. You’d cringe and think about it when you’re lying in bed trying to go to sleep and these embarrassing scenarios keep popping up.

Then there’s some people who try too hard to be funny, Yeah, we all know one of those people. If you don’t know one of those people, then it’s probably you. There’s nothing worse than a forced joke that leaves you hearing only the song of the crickets and the tears of the tryhard. There’s no science to it. You can analyze it all you want and label this as socratic irony or that dramatic irony or the use of a particular word makes it a play on words or makes it funny/punny. You can pick apart and interpret every single line from Seinfeld and understand WHY they’re funny but not how to be funny. Everyone is different and different people with different experiences will behave differently to different jokes. Our experiences give us a background to understand everything. For example,  you make a reference to a funny incident and compare it to something similar and your group of friends have a laugh but somebody who wasn’t there might scratch their head wondering what’s so funny. Maybe the reason why we laugh is because of a need to feel intelligent. We “get” a joke just like we “get” math. We feel accomplished in both scenarios but express ourselves differently. However, from both we experience joy. It’s the same emotion when you’re analyzing a Charles Dickens book and you get a satirical comparison. Only some people caught it and you feel so clever and so you might laugh.

When you’re spoonfed the meaning of a joke it loses all its humor.

“Explaining a joke is like dissecting a frog. You understand it better but the frog dies in the process.”
-E.B. White

There are millions of scenarios and there’s no need to create a whole science out of humor. It’s magical and just enjoy it for what it is.

-Tyler

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3 thoughts on “RE:FRAMED: What makes something funny?

  1. Two common vehicles for humour are truth, which Carlin as well as Bill Hicks, Louie CK, Joe Rogan and a troupe I just stumbled upon called called joy Camp. The other is expressing the absolute the ridiculous. The latter, I think more widley used from The Wayens brothers to the Coen Brothers every one likes a cheep laugh but the former group really leaves a lasting impression. Its a one two punch not only does your brain create dopamene when you laugh but it also chalenges your brain to think and make new connections. So what makes the truth so funny?

      • Sometimes I find the truth is so horrible though yet I laugh about it. It’s like I’m either in denial or its the only way to deal with it and still keep my sanity.

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