Humour or comedy is the natural tendency of human encounters to elicit emotional amusement and give vent to feelings. Humour is defined by Webster as “trickery, ironic exaggeration, or wit in conversation”. Humour is a characteristic of the human condition and is often the deciding factor in how much we enjoy a situation. The word derives from the Greek humus, which means “mixture”, and the plenitude of bodily fluids, related to the blood, controlled human emotion and health. Today we use the word in a broader sense, including all human encounters and occurrences that entertain us. So, what is the basis of humour?
Advertisement relies on humour to sell products, persuade people to take part in an event or support a cause. It’s considered acceptable because it serves a very important role in our everyday lives and because many individuals respond positively to entertainment. Many would not object to advertising if it served a useful purpose. For example, people wouldn’t object to an advertisement for toothpaste or shampoo if they knew that the product was actually helpful, or if they actually used the product regularly.
If the joke is particularly funny, other people will be more receptive to it. But why is this so? It’s clear that humour plays a vital role in how people react to events and how their emotions are shaped. When you see a funny video on television, hear someone making fun of a political rival in a casual environment, or observe a man wearing a T-shirt that proclaims: “I’m Not Kidding”, you can deduce that the audience is enjoying the experience, and that some sort of reaction is caused by the entertainment value of the joke. This means that in order for any joke to be considered extremely funny, it has to have the capability to tickle the funny bone and have its target audience members experiencing an appropriate amount of enjoyment from it.
The ability to produce a reaction is easily influenced by the environment in which the joke is delivered. In order for a joke to be funny, it needs to be delivered in a tone that’s capable of eliciting a response, and in most cases, that means using human laughter. To test this out, try telling a joke to a group of friends and watch what happens. Those who hear the story and react to it laugh along with the person telling the tale, while those who don’t make any response still laugh.
One more funny tip involves understanding what makes people laugh. It turns out that what makes people laugh differs among cultures, so it can be hard to come up with universal jokes. You may want to try to observe your friends as they react to funny situations, so you’ll have a better idea of what makes them laugh. That’s a good place to start, since there’s no universal funny bone that all humans have to break in order to get a good laugh.
There are many more ways to approach humor but knowing the “unified theory” of humor might give you a good foundation for creating your own unique brand of funny. If you’re ever stuck trying to come up with a good joke, you can also use this theory to spark some ideas. Remember: the universal truths of humor are always useful, even if they’re just old wives’ tales. Sometimes, all it takes is an objective observation of how we respond to things, combined with some insightful research into the psyche.