Humor – The Difference Between Funny and Truly Funny
Have you ever noticed how some people can find just the right words to make you laugh and others can’t seem to find anything funny at all? It happens to me all the time. And I’m not even a good writer. But I do know how to get the point across with a joke so that you can laugh.
A friend of mine, who works in IT for a government agency, likes to tell funny stories at work. He always tells a humorous story, no matter what. He is an extremely funny man. So, what exactly are you laughing at? There is absolutely nothing funny about it, whatsoever.
In fact, there is something funny about this; he’s never taken anything personally. Now, I know there are people out there who will take things personally and attempt to make you laugh in a negative way. These people are the minority, not the majority. However, if you are someone who likes to share your favorite things and laugh at yourself – then you will find something funny in nearly every situation.
Consider a situation where you are making a presentation to a group of people, and you say something like “I have to run to the store before I melt the ice in my mouth.” Or “The dog just asked me to give him a treat.” Or “I have to stop and pick up the kids from soccer practice.” If these examples make you laugh – then consider how many real-life examples you can think of that would make you roll your eyes in derision. It’s almost certifiably insane.
The truth is, that’s probably all you’ll ever need to make people laugh. And if you’re someone who enjoys sharing jokes with your friends and family, you’ll be able to gauge the success of any joke based on its response. But what if you want to share a joke with strangers? You can forget the laughter, you see. People react differently to humor in different circumstances.
If you want to know the difference between funny and truly funny, you just need to think back to some of the greatest stand-up comedy acts in history. Many of these acts were funny, but they also had underlying elements of hilarity. Bill Cosby’s “I don’t think anything comes from being funny” routine is a great example. In that set piece, he presents the idea of an impish prankster who comments on everything including his own jokes – until the last word is spoken. It’s unclear whether he was trying to say that he was having the time of his life, or if he was actually having an off night.