I think we all know humor is objective. What I think is funny, you may find utterly stupid. According to Wikipedia—and we know they are the experts in all things—humor is based on a number of variables such as age, geographical location, intelligence and possibly gender. I would amend that to say absolutely gender, since my husband enjoys physical humor (slapstick, pratfalls, etc.) while I crack up at satire.
Here’s an example: I just read a hilarious book by Dave Barry titled Insane City. The loony plot involves a destination wedding in Miami, Florida. The groom, Seth, and his Groom Posse get wasted and Seth somehow ends up with a Cuban girl and her friend, Duane, who has a eleven foot albino python named Blossom. When they attempt to get into a taxi, the driver says, “No snakes!” to which Duane replies, “But she’s a service snake.” This struck me as hilariously funny. In fact, days later, it still makes me giggle. But when I related it to my husband, he gave the obligatory chuckle, “Heh, heh, heh.” This alerted me to the fact that, to him, it was only mildly humorous. What? How could he not think that was funny? That thought remained unspoken.
Then, I remembered the last time he laughed his cute little buns off. It was a Cheech and Chong movie. The two were in Mexico and Cheech ate tacos made with an unidentifiable meat source. You already know the result. In order to counteract the inevitable Montezuma’s Revenge, he slurps up an ice cream cone. The part that made hubby roll on the floor? Cheech, butt cheeks clenched, running for a bathroom and yelling, “Come on, ice cream!”
Okay, kind of funny, but not service snake funny. Maybe that’s why I almost cried when Gary Larson quit drawing The Far Side. I own all his books, every sketch he ever made and still enjoy them. Yet, I know people who shrug their shoulders and say, “I don’t get it.” I don’t hang out with those people. Life’s too short.
So, what makes you laugh?