A lot of times, the people we know, we hang out with, laugh at, or even compliment our friends with, are not so funny in real life. This is not intentional. We all have some underlying traits that make us endearing to others, but if we begin to share our true nature too soon, we will lose those friends. It’s much better to work on our funny bone slowly than it is to coast in this area all the time.
Instead of telling jokes, extremely funny people talk about relevant everyday situations that have humor to them. If a person does not find a joke funny, that’s no big deal, as the whole point of telling jokes is to have humor. If people fail to laugh, then obviously the joke was not funny. In order for people to be funny, they must first be able to laugh. I can not tell you how many times I have heard a bad joke, only to have someone say to me, “but what if it was funny?”
In order to get across the point that a joke is funny or not, it is necessary to point out incongruities. Incongruities are the things that put the lie to a joke. For example, a common argument against a comedian is that his jokes are offensive to certain groups of people. The common response I hear is that such groups of people would not enjoy any humor at all. Where there is incongruity, the humor vanishes, and the truth is lost.
Where there is nothing offensive, no one notices it. But, where there is something offensive, it becomes necessary to find humor in it, and this is where the difference between funny and awful is found. If there is nothing funny in the situation, there is no need to find something funny in the person making the jokes. But, if something is funny in the situation, the humor must be couched in something else, usually some kind of sarcasm, or perhaps just a blunt insult.
When we have found a form of humor that we enjoy using, we will often take it and run with it, and when this happens, we lose sight of the original point of the matter. We will start to make jokes out of subjects that are meant to be serious. Where in fact, we should be careful not to take humor too far.
I do believe that there are some extremely funny people on television. I just don’t believe they are as funny as the writers who come up with the material. This may be part of the problem. If we make people laugh so hard that they lose their perspective on the situation, we have crossed the line in a bad way. So, when we make people laugh we need to be very careful.