The nature of humor

October 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

“Humor occurs when the brain recognises a pattern that surprises it, and that recognition of this sort is rewarded with the experience of the humorous response, an element of which is broadcast as laughter.” – Alastair Clarke

I’ve been thinking a lot this week about why I’m drawn to certain type of humor over others. I tend to laugh out loud every time I watch the Daily Show but then I sit through some of the movies that are supposed to be funny and am bored instead. Bridesmaids was a recent exception. That Kristen Wiig is pretty funny.

I like supporting the female comedians and bought Bossypants, Tina Fey’s book, this weekend. I feel like it’s trying to be funny instead of just being funny. I found myself pulling out David Sedaris’s Squirrel Meets Chipmunk instead. I think Tina Fey is funny in many ways, love 30 Rock, but I didn’t find her reflections on her life that funny. It felt like she was trying to make them funny. Maybe it will get better. When I read David Sedaris, on the other hand, his life legitimately was funny. You can tell reading his books that he finds it funny himself.

Today I’ve been reflecting on some of my own funny moments over the past year. A lot of them were the result of my blog project and getting out doing things I don’t normally do and the unexpected things that occurred as a result. From getting chased off a farm by a pygmy goat to almost having to go to the emergency room after a failed home coffee scrub, I’ve had some laughs over things I’ve done. The one that had me close to peeing my pants was the experience of ice fishing. It was a perfect comedy of errors from taking a half hour to augur a hole to find only 18″ of water to having the wind crazily pick up and watching my husband go flying across the lake with our tent, it was the hardest I’ve laughed in awhile.

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