The Art of Humor

By Zion Loo:


Have you ever wanted to master the art of making people laugh? Well, you are in luck, because I’ll be attempting to delve into exactly what it means to be funny so that you may hold the power of being able to make anyone (besides that one guy) laugh (maybe.) How to be funny and what makes things funny are not necessarily the same questions though.

One theory suggests that something is funny if it is a benign violation. In other words, a violation of something such as social norms or expectations (like a pun) without any actual threat or malevolence. An example of this is when your friend accidentally walks into a pole or falls down the stairs without the knowledge that they were seriously injured.

However, knowing how to tell a joke this way doesn’t mean you’ll be good at it, be a funnier person, or have an any better sense of humor because humor is a skill. For example, I didn’t laugh much at of the jokes told by one person even though they were fine jokes, probably because of how he presented them, but when I imagined a comedian I know of saying the same things, it was ten times funnier.

That is not to say that some people are naturally funnier than others, it just means you probably have a safer bet at being funnier by practice and not necessarily psychology. Anyone can be funny, it’s not in your DNA or anything, it is a skill. A way to strengthen this skill happens to be by observing humor.

So if you want to get funny, watch some stand up comedians more often. The other thing you should do is practice and don’t be afraid to take risks. If you only ever wait for the jokes your certain of, well, your not gonna be getting much practice because there rarely is a “sure thing," especially for a paranoid person.