A comedian’s job is to make people laugh. Legendary comedian Milton Berle once said, “Laughter is an instant vacation.” Charlie Chaplin said, “A day without laughter is a day wasted.” Victor Borge said, “Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” In a nutshell, laughter is an important part of a happy life.
According to a new survey, the average American laughs 8 times a day. That seems a bit low to me, and I really hope that you are “over average”. The survey has also compiled a list of answers to the question: What makes us laugh? Here are the Top 10 “universally funny things” that make us laugh.
10. Watching people trip or fall.
Let’s face it, this is always funny – unless it is you or me falling. Pratfalls, slip and falls, etc…have been making people laugh since the silent films of the 1920’s. Prior to YouTube and the internet, American’s Funniest Home Videos was loaded with people falling! When people fall – people laugh.
A pun, by definition, is a joke exploiting the different possible meaning of a word or the fact that there are words which sound alike but have different meanings. When a banana goes to the doctor because it wasn’t peeling well … you have a pun. I have a group of friends on Facebook who appreciate good puns. We are forever posting “punny” things on each other’s Facebook page, or sending each other puns. Often, a good pun is just what I need to start the day.
8. Bad photos of people.
I, for one, always find it funny to look at bad pictures of me. Go ahead and pick up your high school yearbook and there are no shortage of bad photos that you can snicker at. There are websites that you can find that offer you hours of entertainment by looking at bad mug shots, bad family photos, and people wearing wacky clothing. http://www.peopleofwalmart.com is one of those websites.
7. People mispronouncing words.
As a radio guy, this is always funny to me! I remember one day I had not read through a particular script before having to read it on the air. Instead of saying “testosterone”, I pronounced it “test-ost-er-own-ee”….. it was like I was talking about some kind of pasta or something! It was hilarious! MANY old time radio comedies had people say things wrong on purpose to get laughs. It was prominent on Amos and Andy, Jack Benny, Fibber McGee and Molly, and Abbott and Costello. Of course, those were scripted mispronounciations…..the ones that are not planned are even funnier.
6. Knock Knock Jokes.
I have to admit, I find this interesting. Outside of elementary school children, I don’t know of many folks telling knock knock jokes. I guess they are still good enough to be in the Top 10.
5. Dad Jokes.
This can almost be included with number 9, because most dad jokes fall into the “pun” category. A dad joke is typically a corny or predictable joke that are usually not very funny. As a matter of fact, the more unfunny, the better. They are often told to get a groan out of the audience.
Example: I hate jokes about German sausages! They’re the wurst!
4. Reality TV.
The fact that this is high on the list is kind of amazing to me. Sure, there was a point where I could watch Duck Dynasty, and shows like that and laugh at the sheer ridiculousness of them, but not so much anymore. Many reality shows are pure garbage today. I don’t enjoy any of the “talent” shows anymore. The only reality show I enjoy watching are shows like “Live PD”, which at times can still make me laugh.
3. Memes and animal videos.
Why these two are lumped together, I don’t know. Memes are like comic strips. They can be very funny. There are even apps that allow you to create your own memes.
Animal videos can be very funny – with or without narration. There are no shortage of cat videos that will make you bust a gut on the internet. One of my favorite animal videos is from some British show where they dub in voices for the animals! That’s funny stuff!
2. Sitcoms on TV.
Here is where I agree and disagree at the same time. To be fair, there are some very funny sitcoms on TV today, but many are just predictable and unfunny. Much of the humor is crude and contrived. There are some newer shows that made me laugh out loud consistently (like 30 Rock, That 70’s Show, The Office, and Arrested Development), but most of the current sitcoms are just not funny to me. As old as they are, and as many times as I have seen them, shows like The Honeymooners, Sanford and Son, and WKRP in Cincinnati still make me laugh out loud.
1. Things our kids say.
I couldn’t agree more! I am actually glad that this tops the list. My sons have said some of the funniest things (many of which I talked about on the radio). I love the Facebook memories feed, because many times I am reminded of those things that they’ve said years later. It doesn’t have to be your own kids, either. Kids are always saying funny things (which is why there was a hit show called Kids Say the Darndest Things)! The mind of a child and they way they look at the world and see things will always produce a laugh!
Ok, what makes you laugh? I want to know. Have a story to share about one of these ten things? Was there something that you felt should have been in the Top 10, that wasn’t? Let me hear about it! Let’s share the laughter … the world needs lots of it!!