The Difference Between Funny Is The Incongruity

It used to be a joke in my family that if my dad or brother started to make a funny noise I would buy him two tickets to the comedy club. So he would try his or her best to make you laugh. We never bought any tickets to the comedy clubs but instead went out to the zoo. My father always went with him and enjoyed the zoo more than the comedy club. Today I have started to enjoy going to the comedy clubs and my brother does not like it as much as before.


When I heard that George Clooney was talking about how he was asked to stand up in front of a crowd and say a joke, I thought, wow, this is my dad’s idea of a good time. The funny part is that he stole the jokes from a British TV show called Come Together. For saying that the show was funny, he actually received a standing ovation from the crowd and then a police escort escorted him off stage. The funny part is they ripped the jokes from him and he never showed them to me. The other day, I was reading in the newspaper about the comical fact that England has more Elvis Presley impersonators than any other country in the world. I was just about to send an email to George Clooney requesting some Elvis material for his next speech when I read this interesting bit of information.

The other day, I was reading in a humor magazine that Americans don’t agree on nearly half of the things that are funny. We seem to enjoy laughing at things that are truly ridiculous. Yet we cannot seem to agree upon what is truly funny. It almost makes you wonder if there is some central truth to our culture and perhaps it is our lack of ability to find it. You see, many people laugh at a joke, yet the same people find that joke to be offensive and in poor taste.

Perhaps, we all have a certain level of tolerance for ideas that are offensive, but not in terms of humor. Unfortunately, we seem unable to tolerate any kind of foolishness or lack of subtlety in our entertainment. We’ve come to believe that there must be a certain number of “noise” involved when two people make a joke together. It must be loud and noisy enough to drive away the attention of anyone who isn’t familiar with the joke. Too many times we have forgotten that we live in a world where communication requires some amount of communication. Too many of us live in a world where the best form of entertainment has to be a good old fashioned, clean funny joke that gets a lot of laughter.

So, if the world can’t take a joke, then why should we? The fact is that humor is often the best way to release pent up frustration and anger. We all need a good belly laugh sometimes to help us get through the things that keep us wound up and that’s why there are jokes.

If the world can’t take a joke, then why should we? Jokes are supposed to make us laugh, even if we don’t feel like it. The reality is that jokes sometimes require an act of deception to be effective. When a joke involves truth telling and a secret that the audience doesn’t know about, it can be very effective. The key is finding a medium between the fact and the incongruity that allows you to have fun while still making others laugh.