Breaking Your Funny Bone

By: Brandon Bean

The Charter Opinions

“There’s something that’s really fun about the challenge of making the mundane funny, too, I think.”

– Jim Gaffigan


A blind man walked into a bar. He was taken to the hospital shortly afterwards.

What makes some of you chuckle at that joke? What purpose does it serve to laugh? What is funny? “Comedy is not a science. It’s an art, therefore there are no rules and it can be very subjective. What one person finds funny another might cringe at,” says

Humor is a matter of perspective. However, some people want to bring the blade of science to take this concept apart and study. E.B. White, author and writer of famous novels such as Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little, stated, “Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it”. What’s so important about this point of view? Well, let’s bring it to a more simple level. Why deconstruct something that is meant to bring joy? A joke created by a formula is devoid of the magical sparkle that makes true comedy.

On the flip side, there is a scientific element to it. Not in the joke itself, but the content around the joke. The audience themselves. A joke told by a six year old is less likely to make sense than the same joke told by a thirty year-old.

A dyslexic man walked into a bra.

Would this make sense to the younger children? Would they understand? Most likely not. There is an intelligence gap. We laugh at it because we understand it and share that understanding with others. It is something that we have known for all our lives and yet are hearing it out loud for the first time. That is why we laugh at things we have remembered from our past. We always knew it, we just haven’t put it together yet.

Have you ever noticed that you laugh more often with other people than while you’re alone? “We laugh thirty times as much when we’re with other people than we do when we’re alone,” says Robert Provine, American Scientist. According to an article published in Quarterly Review Of Biology, “The primary function of laughter is not to express ourselves, but could be used to trigger positive feelings in other people.”

Laugh not for yourself, but be selfless and do it for others.

Sources:  Accessed May 8, 2017.  Accessed May 8, 2017.