36 Comments

Of course my sense of humor is excellent. If I don’t think it’s funny, IT ISN’T FUNNY.

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Seems there's conflation of KNOWING funny and BEING funny. I don't think they're the same.

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It's funny how most of us, here, in The Gene Pool, think we are very funny. I wonder if we really are. My grandfather was the comedian in the family. Interestingly enough, he did not like it when someone else was funnier than he was, especially well-known professional comedians, and most especially, my grandmother. She seldom cracked a joke, but when she did, she was, by far, funnier than my funny-man grandfather.

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Having a good sense of humor is (fortunately) not the same as being very funny.

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I think I can be pretty funny, I know I appreciate funny, but I think sense of humor also includes being able to be the butt of a good joke. When we started dating, my husband was relieved that he could tease me because his last girlfriend was over-the-top sensitive. Luckily I was trained well by both immediate and extended family. And luckily he can laugh at himself too.

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If you have a scent of humor, you can appreciate that a funny thing happened on the way to the pherone.

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A famous cartoonist once told the Sunday artist: Mr. Smith is not as funny as he thinks he is.

Of course, I’m as funny as I think I am.

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Someone who calls themselves funny is usually someone who is not self aware. Calling yourself funny is like calling your self cool or even intellectual. Those descriptions must come from someone else. So there!

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my heart goes out to both your 15-year-old self and Suzy. It must have been agonizing.

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My daughter is exceptionally funny.

She must get it from somewhere.

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Raiders of the Lost Ark! Or was that so obvious that no one else bothered to mention it?

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Always fascinated me that while dramatic elements which appeal to basic emotions are largely universal — situations which make us angry or sad --- what makes us smile or laugh, on the other hand, tends to be pretty much subjective. At the same time, what we find funny has a good deal to do objectively with how whatever we're supposed to laugh, chortle or guffaw at is structured --- how it's set up and delivered or presented, in particular. The payoff or punchline is where the objective elements of humor usually morph into our individual view of what's funny. Btw --- if you're ever unsure about what's funny, there's the Humor Research Lab (aka HuRL) at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where I'm sure they would be more than happy to guide you into the weeds of yukability and beat a piece of humor of your choice to death in the name of science. I suspect these folks would make the forensic analysis of the "roo-roo" joke, late of these parts, look like mere child's play.

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As it happens, the last three paragraphs of this New York Times story quote exactly the advice I would give my *16* year old self - and did give to other 16-year-olds similarly situated https://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/17/nyregion/new-york-city-community-boards-welcome-teenage-members.html

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I sent in a story about trying to be funny around a famous comedian. Ha . . ha . . ha. So being smart about WHEN you think you are funny, well then, that's another category.

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As is so often the case with debates of all kinds, no one has defined what humor is nor what metrics might be used to measure it. Number of people laughing? That would vary wildly by almost any variable you can come up with. Remember the recently discussed "joke" about what you tell a woman with two black eyes? Is it possible that humor, like time, doesn't really exist but is only perceived in the circumstance?

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As with just about all aspects of the human condition, genetics and its intrinsic link to evolution play a role in having a sense of humor. How much is attributable to "nature" and how much to "nurture" remains to be determined (if it ever unequivocally will be) -- but, I would guess, with a tendency more likely toward the learned end of the continuum.. A gene has been identified --- which some call the "laughing gene" --- but, in reality, is one that seems to control the emotional response to different stimuli --- laughing being one such response. It's safe to assume that there are more such humor-related genetic indicators waiting to be identified. However, we do have a better feeling for the evolutionary role of humor as a factor in human mating. Presumably it was not enough to be able to bring home a side of mammoth, you also had to be able to come up with a funny thing that happened on your way to the hunt. On the other hand, being funny, as opposed to simply appreciating someone else being funny, I suggest (controversially), is a predisposition you are born with, and likely even more directly related to intelligence. Its effect or impact may be latent in some, but it eventually reveals itself in one or more of the multitude or shadings of comedic forms as there are. Being funny is excruciatingly hard to do well and simply excruciating if not so done. To which Gene and Pat can attest (bless their masochistic hearts).

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