What makes me laugh? Everything! Wit. Irreverence. Puns. Footballs in the crotch. The best humor is smart and surprising, and my favorite kinds of humor are probably the extremes: the low and base, filled with profanity and to be shared only with the most intimate of friends, in a safe space, which is probably why I love it so much, and high humor, which is sharp and intelligent, like Hannah Gadsby, and which studies the human condition and finds the secrets we all share, then surprises us by bringing them out in the open with such perfect awareness, you’d swear the comic had gone inside the darkest corners of your mind and said, “I see you!” And their comedy shows you’re not alone, and look, everyone is laughing because they too can relate, and hey, this thing you thought was a you thing is actually a human thing.
I especially laugh when high humor is also base. Because it often is.
I laugh at puns, at wordplay, at memes, gifs, emoji reactions, cat videos. Cats are very funny. David Sedaris makes me laugh, especially Me Talk Pretty One Day. All of my favorite people make me laugh. Often when our kids tell me about a new person in their lives, I ask, “Are they funny?”
I guess it’s not true that I laugh at everything, though. Meanness isn’t funny to me. And sitcoms and comedy movies often aren’t that funny to me either. I don’t know why. Perhaps they’re obvious, or basic, or predictable. Or maybe they try too hard. Or maybe it’s just because they’re trying to set the expectation from the beginning that they are going to be funny — “I am a comedy!” — so they lose the element of surprise.
I’m lucky, though, that I laugh easily. My husband says he married me because I’m an easy laugh. But truly, he’s very funny. And our kids have picked up his wit. Dinner time is often a testing ground for landing jokes, and perhaps my favorite part of that is that they all keep trying even when something doesn’t work. They’re not afraid of failure: if a line doesn’t land, they’ll analyze it to see what didn’t work, then try a different approach. I make them all feel good by laughing at everything, but the true test is if you can get a laugh out of a more discerning member of our family. Then you can feel proud of your work.
This is for Bloganuary prompt 7: What makes you laugh?