Humor and Laughter – The Key Elements of Comedy
According to one academic definition, “something is funny when others cognitively appraise it negatively, whether it generates the appropriate positive response or produces the opposite reaction.” However, while generally the average individual laughs at least eighteen times per day, laughter is not always a reliable indicator to determine whether or not something is funny. In order to evaluate whether a joke is funny, you must be able to tell when a person is having a bad day or having a great day. Therefore you must understand the difference between humor and satire.
A Comedy Show on Television regularly makes fun of certain social issues such as religion, race, sex, class, and political issues. But if you stop and think about it, the amount of social problems in the world today, certainly qualifies as a form of entertainment. A Comedy Show on Television does not have to make fun of everything in existence, only those things that seem like they are getting away from people. The Comedy Show on television does not have to be a serious comedy, the writers can simply make fun of those things that are often ignored by the rest of the world. As a matter of fact, there are a lot of very funny situations that can be considered to be social satire, but yet funny to an individual person who does not have that particular point of view.
The truth is that humor, just like all other human activities, evolved through time. Some cultures began laughing at less important things, and this eventually turned into some of the most popular jokes that we have today. Some examples of funny things begin with the Chinese, and then later on with the Babylonians. Humor from other cultures can be discovered in other places such as The New Testament where people actually laugh at the false gossips of Jesus. Even in ancient Greece and Rome, humor was a vital part of society, but only because the Greeks did not have television or the mass media that they have today.
In America, however, the humor has become far too mainstream and has invaded every form of social interaction. On T.V., you will see jokes about the weather, golf, religion, sex, race, love, and just about anything else that you can think of. In fact, it seems as if the only thing that can’t be made funny on T.V. is the person who is making the joke.
One reason for this is that Americans have become so used to seeing themselves as being humorless, that when somebody actually tries to make them laugh, it becomes uncomfortable and difficult for them to continue. This is why the laughter wheel has become such a part of American culture. You will sometimes see on T.V. shows people being wheeled in and out of various funny scenarios that make them laugh uncontrollably, almost in tears.
When this happens, it becomes a trademark of that show and it is known as a “wheeled experience.” The act of giving someone a funny experience, which then triggers an uncontrollable laughter, is known as being “invigorating.” In a way, this is what a good stand up comedy show is supposed to do. A good show should excite its viewers, and get them laughing, and in this case, they are able to do just that by using a simple word. Laughter is contagious; therefore, it is important that we keep on sharing our joys and sorrows through this medium, which in turn will cause others to share theirs, and so on…