Thursday, 16 December 2010

The gods too are fond of a joke - Aristotle

"I took a speed-reading course and read War and Peace in twenty minutes. It involves Russia". (Woody Allen). Don't you just love humour? Some people are just naturally humourous; it seems part of their DNA, but others use humour at particular times. This can be,
  • To draw attention to ourselves - what a fun person we are to have around
  • To try and diffuse a potentially difficult situation - have you nervously cracked a joke with a policeman after being caught speeding? No! Then it just must be me
  • To compensate for perceived inadequacies - such as Chandler Bing in Friends
  • To put down those you fear, dislike, are prejudiced against or are jealous of - displaying a feeling of superiority over those you laugh at.
Then of course there are the occasions when humour simply brings joy to others.

Dr Laurence Peter, in his Peter's Almanac (1982), quotes, "It's hard to create humour because of the unfair competition from the real world". But it's precisely the competition from the real world that necessitates the need for humour. We might not be particularly humourous ourselves, but how great it is to enjoy the humour of others. I think it's best not to analyse humour - just simply enjoy it.

I enjoy reading and listening to a wide range of humourists, such as Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, The Goons, The Goodies, Groucho Marx, Woody Allen, Morecambe and Wise, Tommy Cooper, Ken Dodd, Dara O'Briain, Stephen Fry and many others. I'm not particularly fond of so called "edgy" humour which ridicules, abuses and hurts others. I find this lazy and distasteful.

I'm a simple man with simple tastes. At the moment I'm into the humour of Tim Vine. It's silly, harmless and oh so funny. What about these crackers?

"Do you ever get that, when you're halfway through eating a horse and you think to yourself, I'm not as hungry as I thought I was".

"At the moment I'm reading 'My Life' by Bill Clinton, which freaked me out because I didn't know he knew anything about my life".

"So I went down to the local carpet shop. I said do you sell carpets by the yard? He said no, we sell them in here".

Now that makes me laugh, and the "real world" doesn't seem quite so bad for a while.

1 comment:

  1. Hi dad - great blog - I'd have to add Victoria Wood, the greatest ever observer of the funny in domestic situations - 'The British are no good at having fun. I get excited if there's a pattern on my kitchen roll.'