Humor is a Funny Thing (Or, Someone is Going to Be Pissed Off)

I think we can all agree that’s funny. Amirite?

Wrong. It’s not funny, as evidenced by my Facebook page,  if you were also attacked and held hostage by the family cat. And lost your sense of humor in said melee.

Peter Sellers is reputed to have said: Dying is easy; comedy is hard. If you’ve ever tried writing humor, you get it. Paraphrasing Horace Walpole here, but one man’s tragedy is the next man’s comedy. I’ll stop with the quote dropping now.

Here’s The Guardian’s top 10 list of comedy movies:

  1. Annie Hall
  2. Borat
  3. Some Like it Hot
  4. Team America: World Police
  5. The Ladykillers
  6. Dr Strangelove
  7. Duck Soup
  8. Rushmore
  9. Monty Python’s Life of Brian
  10. Airplane!

By contrast, here’s the Forbes top 10 list of funniest movies:

  1. Airplane!
  2. The Hangover
  3. Naked Gun: From the Files of the Police Squad
  4. Superbad
  5. Borat
  6. Anchorman: the Legend of Ron Burgundy
  7. American Pie
  8. Bridesmaids
  9. Shaun of the Dead
  10. Life of Brian

Some overlap between the two, but very different lists. Your list would probably differ substantially from the above. Life experience, gender, race, religion, geography are only a few of the factors that play into our individual humor preferences.

I’ll tell you what’s not funny: a scholarly examination of humor. But if you want to know what makes people laugh and why, I’d recommend Rod Martin’s book The Psychology of Humor: An Integrative Approach

Statement of Apology:  If your 22-pound cat kept you, your spouse and the family dog holed up in a bedroom while you frantically dialed 9-1-1, I’m sorry. But it’s still funny. Only Siegfried and Roy have a legitimate reason to be terrified of the family cat.

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One thought on “Humor is a Funny Thing (Or, Someone is Going to Be Pissed Off)

  1. Pingback: Soylent Green is … Granite? | Dee Van Dyk

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