Wednesday, April 25, 2012


After participating in a humor workshop at Romantic Times last week, I started thinking about why different kinds of humor appeal to different people.

I may have finally figured out why men like the Three Stooges, but generally women do not. Boys are allowed—sometimes even encouraged—to hit. Girls are taught hitting is wrong. Not all boys hit, of course, but a shiner or broken nose probably caused little concern for their parents. After all, boys will be boys.

And don’t we all enjoy seeing those in authority make fools of themselves like the Keystone Cops? But what about the Marx Brothers and their less physical, more sophisticated comedy plots? Do they appeal more equally to men and women or more to one sex than the other?

Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin?

What about today’s kinds of humor? Bill Maher and his ilk? GCB and the B in Apartment whatever? What about homosexual jokes, bathroom humor, or racial comments like the Italian Stallion or the Jewish mother who wants her daughter to marry the doctor?

I guess all of it boils down to whatever floats your boat. For me, not all that’s advertised as humor is funny.

Dee Brice
Erotic Fantasies Where Nothing is Forbidden


Fiona McGier said...

I always liked Laurell and Hardy because my Dad made me watch them with him...my Mom loved the Marx Brothers, so I like them too...I love the puns!
I used to like the 3 Stooges, and was horrified when our oldest decided at about 5, that his favorite was Shemp! We called him "Stooges-impaired" for not picking Curly!
As for the hitting, in the neighborhood where I grew up there were about 12 girls my age, and we got into a lot of knock-down punching and kicking fights. Black eyes and cuts and bruises were common until we got older. Maybe that's why I like physical comedy?
But I really dislike comedy with a mean edge. I dislike Adam Sandler, nor have I ever found a Will Ferrell scene that ever made me laugh. Everyone else in my family thought "Mean Bosses" was hilarious, I kept waiting for something to be funny. But I roared with laughter at "Bridesmaids'...the last movie before that that I laughed that hard at was "Pineapple Express".

I guess humor is really subjective, and even with close friends/family, one person's yuks are another person's blahs.

As for humor in romance, sometimes the joining of bodies can produce unintentionally funny consequences, so there's that. But for any relationship to last, you have to be able to laugh together, because you either laugh or cry at what life throws your way, and laughing leaves nicer lines on your face!

jean hart stewart said...

I agree with Fiona that humor is subjective.. I personally don't ever think a scene is funny if it hurts somebody's feelings. Just my viewpoint, but there it is....

Dee Brice said...

Hi Fiona and Jean,
I appreciate your comments and views. I'm in total agreement about hurtful humor. That's probably why so many of the new sitcoms turn me off.

As to Fiona's description of her growing up years--boy! or should I say girl! am I ever glad I didn't grow up in your neighborhood. lol

Thanks for your comments!

Tina Donahue said...

I find I laugh at the animals and kids on AFV. Sometimes what they do is so dumb, I can't help it. :)

Sarah J. McNeal said...

I think each individual's life experiences dictate to that person what is funny and what isn't.
I don't particularly like physical comedy or humor based in rudeness or prejudice but I do love situational comedy and a battle of wits. I still laugh at Frazier even when I've seen the same scene several times. I also like Last Man Standing and 8 Rules.
A very thought provoking blog, Dee.