Deborah Boydston Deborah Boydston
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I agree that the dignity of any person should be above these kinds of humor.

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Leslie Blackwell Leslie Blackwell
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Things that make you go ha ha ha

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Humor on TV

Something that may tickly your funny bone, perhaps.

There is a show on television called “America’s Funniest Home Videos” which though is fairly inane demonstrates how humour is very much a personal thing. What is funny to one person might seem anything but to another. Take the following incident - when I was a very young boy my father bought my Mother a wall clock for Christmas and made us promise not to tell her about it, otherwise it would spoil the surprise. We helped him wrap it up and she came into the room unexpectedly and asked what the package was sitting beside us. Remembering the promise I volunteered “It’s not a clock.” 1 comment

That little story stayed in our family for years and each time regaled would generate laughter. Years passed and I told that same story to other people but failed to generate the same merriment. I guess you had to be there at the time and understand the context of the situation. Another such incident springs to mind. Our parents used to keep all the important documents relating to the house, old letters, certificates, statements etc. in a brief case on top of a wall drove in their bedroom (a place well away from sticky little fingers).

One rainy afternoon we were all gathered in their bedroom playing I-spy and when it came to my turn I choose “P”. My family struggled for ages with all sorts of guesses and finally gave up completely bamboozled and frustrated. They asked me what “P” I had spied and I simply responded with childlike innocence “Portant Papers”.  Chances are you probably did not laugh much at either of these two examples. They are meant purely to demonstrate how funny experiences are personal in their humour.

Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t devoid of a sense of humour or prudish, but as a child and for most of my teenage years there were certain things I failed to find genuinely funny. One of these things was the toilet. I’d watch television programs and be somewhat perplexed as the audience (Live or otherwise) would go into fits of laughter whenever someone mentioned going to the toilet or there was the sound of a flushing toilet in the background. To me toilets were pongy places where people expelled waste from their insides. It’s a bit like laughing as a rubbish-man empties a bin.

The other is the putting down of people because of their size, weight, speech impediment, race, creed etc. I have found those that have little problem openly advertising the flaws other people to their peers become the most aggressive once that person points out or makes jest of that person’s own flaws.   1 comment

I prefer subtly and the element of surprise when it comes to humour, like the man who goes into a Births Deaths and Marriages Office and says he wants to change his name. The customer service rep asks his present name. “Billy Stupid” answers the man. “I can see that would be rather and embarrassing name to have…what would you like to change it to?” The man answers “John Stupid” 1 comment

Anyhow I digress, I wanted to tell an old joke you may, or may not have heard before that sums up humour quite well.

A man by the name of Tony goes to prison for the first time in his life and is put into a cell with a notorious criminal named Thumper.

They go to the mess hall to have dinner and during the meal someone gets up and shouts…

“Fifty One”

The mess hall erupts with laughter.  About five minutes later someone else gets up and shouts

“Twenty six”

Again the hall is filled with merriment.  This goes on throughout the meal.

They all return to their cells and Tony asks Thumper

“Why do they all laugh at those numbers?”

“Well you see,” explains Thumper “There is only one joke book in the prison library and most of the inmates here have read it to death, so to speak and know it all off by heart. So instead of wasting time they simply quote the Joke number.”

The next day Tony gets to have a look through the joke book and picks out what he considers to be three of the funniest jokes.

That night as they are all having dinner one of the inmates gets up and shouts


The mess hall erupts with laughter. Others share their quoted joke numbers with the same result. Finally Tony stand up and shouts in clear voice

“Thirty six,”

There is silence except for a few forced laughs.

“Eighty” calls out another inmate at the table next to him and to Tony’s amazement the inmates start laughing as he remembers this to be a knock-knock joke.

Tony tires again with number 41 and lastly with 93 the one he thought would be sure to get a good reception. Alas the inmates fail to respond and he heads back to his cell after dinner feeling quite rejected.

“I don’t understand,” he laments “I told three of the funniest jokes in that book and no one laughed, yet the other inmates that told, what thought were pretty poor jokes, got laughs every time. Tell me Thumper, what is it that I am doing wrong?”

“Well,” says Thumper in a sympathetic tone “It’s not really the joke you choose that makes ‘em laugh, it’s the way you tell it.”

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