The Importance of Being Funny

Humour or comedy is the tendency of humorous experiences to elicit laughter and give pleasure. The word derives from the Greek humerus, which meant “mirth” or “ironical sense.” Humor is a natural and spontaneous reaction in man, unlike sorrow, which is artificially created by the deliberate actions of persons. Humour in all its forms is an expression of the self.

Humour involves the exaggeration of apparent values, or of those qualities that are seen to differ from our ideals, so as to reveal the inherent truth in their contrast. Humorous situations, such as the use of double entendres, irony, exaggeration, lend themselves to the practise of “insulting comedy,” “parody,” “comical satire,” and “insultant humour.” In the broadest sense, humour is plainly “the ability to laugh at something or someone.” The narrower focus of the term is “a special art and skill of making others laugh.”

Humour, in the broadest sense, is “the ability to make others laugh.” But it is not merely the ability to find something funny. We have all seen the huge faces and bodies of people who, for no obvious reason, just cannot help but smile when watching somebody else’s nose or chin get funny. Such observations are, in themselves, a form of incongruity. But when the situation becomes necessary, the humourist can exploit the inverseness for his own good, and use it to create a sense of social harmony.

Humorous people have always had the reputation of having “good luck,” but this depends on the honesty and sincerity with which we attempt to express ourselves. Some of us are so honest that we confess our faults and laugh at them; others are afraid to do that, for fear of creating jokes which may bring bad luck to someone. It seems, then, that there is no such thing as “bad luck” in the world of jokes. Some jokes to make people laugh, some make people angry, and some simply make both sides of the crowd laugh. No matter what the effect on the target of the joke, it is always bound to be a gain.

Of course, the use of humour in life has other dimensions. Jokes, parodies, and other means of combining wit and exaggeration can have an important social role, thus filling an important void in the lives of those who, for one reason or another, find themselves in the position of being the only ones who can crack jokes and make people laugh. And in these times of global communication and internet marketing, it is important that we keep up with each other’s sense of humor and share some funny things with our friends and acquaintances abroad. Laughter is the best medicine, so go ahead and light some up!

Humorous interjections are also a great way of introducing a joke into a conversation, catching someone’s eye, and giving your friend or acquaintance a good dose of laughter. Try saying something like “Now, tell me some funny thing you’ve seen on television” and see how your pal reacts to your quip. Jokes are indeed great for bringing people together. So, if you want to impress someone else, consider using some funny facial expressions and body language, along with a witty and insightful joke, to really get the job done.