Most commonly used in a context: “The comedian knew many funny jokes”. Funny refers to someone who is attempting to make others laugh or is merely trying to entertain them. To borrow a phrase from theatre: a comic effectively uses his facial gestures, facial expressions and body language to make the audience laugh. “Buy me a fish, I’ll write you a funny story” is what an amateur comic does on the stage. However, the seasoned comic goes one step further and delivers a performance of pure comedy with a winning smile and a captivating wit.
Why do we find funny? Humour and laughter trigger the release of several chemicals in the brain, including serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals act as mood stabilizers and antidepressants. They are released when we are pleased or sad, tired or fearful. Researchers have found that when you find funny things or situations you are able to calm these same areas of your brain which cause you to experience feelings of happiness or sadness. If you can find situations or things that make you laugh then the chances are you will find ways to utilise humour in your everyday life.
When did humour become cool? Well the first people to adopt the ability to lampoon someone or create a light-hearted comedy skit were school students in the late nineteenth century. Students would mimic the older people they came into contact with and ridicule them in return for small rewards, like a slice of cake or candy.
Ever heard the expression: “A real-life example of the maxim ‘laughter is the best medicine’?” If you have then you are likely to appreciate the difference between real-life examples and fictional humour. In real life situations, a person would be inclined to laugh at another person’s misfortune – but in the theatre, a writer might find it more expedient to create a witty joke which simply makes the characters in the story seem even lamer.
So why do some people find it difficult to use humour? The answer lies in the part of the brain which is responsible for identifying and responding to the aesthetic values of what we see and hear. Everyone has an inherent ability to recognise good humor when they see it. But funny lines don’t just appear on their own – they need to be inserted into a context where they will be most appreciated. For example, many children grow up with a routine where they clap their hands, laugh uproariously or clap their hands again after they have seen the lion put away. But if they are exposed to a more humorous source such as Marmaduke, they may lose their ability to recognise good humour.
It seems that for some reason we just don’t get humor, whether it’s funny lines, songs, jokes or a popular TV show. Most people will agree that most entertainment today suffers from a lack of quality. Perhaps we are all fed up of the same old tired jokes and stories, and want something new. If you are looking for ways to make people laugh then try funny video clips, songs or funny jokes.