What’s so funny?

5 Mar 2021
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Have you ever been watching a movie, listening to a comedian and being the only one laughing?

People say “What’s so funny?”, but it is hard to say, it just is funny to you.

Have you ever been recommended a movie, a TV series, a book, or a comedian as being so funny you will laugh till you cry, but find you do not find it funny at all?

Humour I find is so individual, so personal and can also depend what mood I am in as to what I find funny. I am hesitant to ever recommend something I find funny as not everyone, well not many share my humour.

I was thinking what I find funny and I find that hard, but I can tell you what I don’t find funny. I don’t find adults or children getting hit in the groin or the head or hurting themselves at all funny. I don’t find people who make fun of others and humiliate them funny.

So, what do I find funny? Humour that is unpredictable, humour that is clever, humour that challenges me in some way, humour that is provocative.

I want to look at what is the essence of what you find funny. I would rather not have  a list of people or shows or books you find funny. I would rather look at what is it that makes you laugh, what you find funny, is there a difference.?

Does your mood affect what you find funny?

Do you feel you laugh at things that others do not? Why?

Does your sense of humour change as you get older?

Leah

A Moodscope member.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. Posts and comments on the blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice.

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Comments

Anonymous

March 5, 2021, 1:19 a.m.

I found your blog funny because of the subject. Great subject. I find things funny that aren’t supposed to be funny, not someone falling over or that kind of humour, I suppose just off the cuff humour without expectations to laugh. There are not many programmes I find funny. But some people do and laugh and laugh whilst I roll my eyes as I can’t feel the humour at all. I suppose we all have a different sense of humour. With your questions I don’t think my humour has changed with age, or that it changes with my mood. I can be in a terrible or low mood and still laugh at something if it’s funny. Thanks for the blog Leah x

Reply

Leah

March 5, 2021, 5:46 a.m.

anonymous, I agree that laughing when you dont expect to laugh isa good sign. The pressure to like shows that everyone likes makes me annoyed. Thanks for your comment.

Karen

March 5, 2021, 3:59 a.m.

Humour is very individual I agree. I have family members who make a joke out of everything and I have family members who never laugh at all. It’s good to have a laugh. I’m now thinking of the times I couldn’t stop laughing for some silly reason. Ha ha, you have cheered me up.

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Leah

March 5, 2021, 5:47 a.m.

Karen I think a good belly laugh is good and maybe is hard to examine why it made us laugh. I agree being silly is a great feeling/

Kristin

March 5, 2021, 6:57 a.m.

I do find that watching a comedy show - especially a well-loved series (such as shown on Gold TV Channel) will help to lift me a bit from a really low mood and like "anonymous" above I find myself laughing spontaneously, just can't help laughing and as a consequence feel better, however when feeling low I don't often think about putting on a comedy show and at these times I don't usually find that people saying humourous things in an attempt to "jolly me along" have the same affect - in fact I usually find it irritating and it triggers feelings of hostility rather than good feelings (maybe because what others find funny or think will cheer me up aren't the same as things I find amusing.) The other thing that triggers spontaneous laughter or at least a smile is a funny cartoon picture - perhaps a card on display in a shop or something someone has posted on Face Book (although when very low I tend to avoid social media and computers in general.) As far a comedians subject matter - I, too, do not find it funny to watch or hear people being ridiculed or hurt - I tend to laugh at every-day activities or familiar situations described through the eyes of the comedian (such as the way Sarah Millican describes "womens stuff" - and when she refers to her obese abdomen as her "cake shelf" etc) - I like programmes such as "Mock the Week" which puts humour into public events, news items and politician's faux pas (which I suppose is a contradiction to my comment aboe saying I don't find it funny to hear people being made fun of - (but perhaps that is in the context of a real-life situation and actually witnessing the person being ridiculed face-to-face which I do find really abhorrent). The other thing that makes me smile or laugh without fail is amusing things said or done by small children or animal antics - video clips of pets doing funny things etc.

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Leah

March 5, 2021, 9:15 a.m.

Kristen thanks for sharing your list of what you find funny. Yes I also like the everyday activity shown as funny through a comedians eyes.

The Gardener

March 5, 2021, 11:14 a.m.

Kirsten, I can't stand Sarah Millican - in fact, stand-up comics not my taste. I live in France, could I get Gold TV? Do you have to subscribe to it? Thanks Leah

Rekha

March 5, 2021, 6:58 a.m.

Thank you for the timely reminder, Leah. Reading your blog reminded me how much i love laughing....and how much i missed it! I can laugh at small things, silly things. It is a form of release for me, a way of being intinate with what is, and appreciating it. Thank you xx

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Leah

March 5, 2021, 9:15 a.m.

Rehearsal , I too laugh at small silly things.

Leah

March 5, 2021, 9:20 a.m.

Sorry rekha auto. Correct changed your name.

Little Lighthouse

March 5, 2021, 7:06 a.m.

Rolling down the hill I find funny, wobbly bellies I find fuuny now, comediens who swear and swear I don't hear the joke just find myself cringing instead. But used to pretend to laugh to join in at jokes I rarely understood, or killed the mood by saying I don't understand or just laughed when I got it 5 mins later. Laughing at movent sometimes hurting themselves for all the times I've hurt myself I find funny but worrying, I guess that's nervous laughter. Things I felt I had an issue with way back then or to be resolved inside my head. Being silently exposed gave me a chance to laugh at myself and see the funny side and not take myself so seriously over things instead. I like the comedians who mock themselves. Films with families and siblings laughing at their challenges with mine now long since gone, a chance to revisit a happy life I could have always had. It's great for breaking the ice that's been forming from maybe long ago. A good question to ask leah before going on a comedy date, save a lot of heart ache and years of conflict and misery by sharing same sense of humour or plain misery by spending your life having the mick taken out of you. Because you were more fun to laugh at than any show. I funny love all the different accents one can pull off making others laugh and seeing them laugh and smile. I love an anecdote. A somber looking man sitting down holding a bag, saying" I'm laughing on the inside " and when he talks he definitely does and his face lights up and chuckles. That's really funny to me and keeps the train chugging along marrily. He's just taking a break that's all. Thanks leah for giving us a chance to talk and remember laughter. A chance maybe to smile with almost laughter and to seek out some comedy today and tonight Let's bee happyx Little light house Over and out.

Reply

Leah

March 5, 2021, 9:19 a.m.

Little lighthouse I like anecdotes and funny accents.

Daisy

March 5, 2021, 7:14 a.m.

Dear Leah I like humour that is warm and golden and makes you glow. Something gentle. Like a feather floating and landing on the ground or drifting away in the sky. sometimes I find things funny that don’t catch everyone the same way. Perhaps the absurd. some situation where things aren’t great but somebody makes a joke, and anger and hostility turn into shared laughter and giggles Thank you for the blog and take care

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Leah

March 5, 2021, 9:23 a.m.

Daisy, I like the absurd.

Rosie

March 5, 2021, 7:26 a.m.

Took part in a laughter yoga session recently and whilst initially felt very self conscious by the end the laughter was quite genuine and did leave a 'feel good' feeling. Aside from this element one of the participants on zoom had a toddler in a playpen in the background who found the whole thing absolutely hilarious. The little persons response was wonderful and so natural. I do think humour changes with age. Remember going to see Norman Wisdom on stage some years ago and feeling quite concerned that he might hurt himself, this was tempered with not being able to stifle the laughter and good humour he created by merely walking / stumbling onto the stage. He must have been in his eighties. Thank you Leah for your regular blogs ,always well received. Kind wishes to all. Rosie

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Leah

March 5, 2021, 9:26 a.m.

Rosie I did a yoga laughter class and found the false laughter very annoying and superficial. So everyone is different. I know friends who love laughter yoga class.

Paul

March 5, 2021, 7:29 a.m.

Thanks for today’s blog Leah I have always loved comedy and jokes. I do find when my mood is low I lose my sense of humour. I don’t know if it’s an age thing Too but often I don’t understand some jokes. There is some funny stuff on utube. It’s worth searching for (laughter yoga,)again you need to be in the right mood to watch it , it can help to lift you. Farther Ted is guaranteed to lift my mood when I am down. Will leave on a joke I asked my son was he looking forward to going back to school on Monday. No he answered lots of kids laugh at me and call me names, do I have to go dad he asked me. Of course you have to go I told him, you are the headmaster! I will get my coat Paul

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Jul

March 5, 2021, 7:41 a.m.

Ha ha Paul. Good joke. I too find my sense of humour disappears when I'm low but I can still find things funny. Father Ted was great and I like Lee Mack in Not Going Out. Well they are all funny in that but it's the quick fire jokes or play with words that makes me laugh. Tim Vine who used to be in it was a master of this as is Hugh Lawrie. Have a good day Paul. I hope you have weekends off. Jul. xx

Leah

March 5, 2021, 9:29 a.m.

Paul, Thanks for your comment. ,I like that joke often told T first staff meetings of the year.

Leah

March 5, 2021, 11:01 a.m.

Jul,Thanks for your comment. I agree I too like play with words.

Paul

March 5, 2021, 4:14 p.m.

Thanks Jul

Oli

March 5, 2021, 7:46 a.m.

I haven't felt light enough to laugh for a very, very long time. I miss it. I hope it will come back - I clearly don't feel very pro-active about helping the issue! I have had to join in dozens of laughter yoga sessions when the instructor comes along to the groups I work with. I really don't enjoy it. People who know me say but how come you always look like you're enjoying it? Acting, dear, acting. I despise the shoddy "just-so" story of "the brain can't distinguish real laughter from fake laughter." Yes it can; all of that has been well-researched but still these myths get trotted out. Gawd, sorry Leah!! You asked what made me laugh - not a lot! I can find humour in most things and I'm fairly smiley by disposition, but I no longer do much in the way of laughter. Possibly because laughter is a social bonding behaviour as much as anything and I don't do much in the way of social bonding. :-)

Reply

Oli

March 5, 2021, 11:52 a.m.

PS -- I've remembered something: not long ago some lawyer in the States turned up in court on Zoom with a kitten filter that I think one of his kids had left on the computer. I wasn't expecting it and definitely found it funny and laughed. Maybe there's hope after all! If there's anyone left in the world who hasn't seen it... https://youtu.be/lGOofzZOyl8

Daisy

March 5, 2021, 2:26 p.m.

I loved that video

AndrewH

March 5, 2021, 3:42 p.m.

Struggling with Zoom has become a feature of lockdown but I bet that one will be the one remembered for years to come. At least that judge had a sense of humour. ***

Little Lighthouse

March 5, 2021, 7:44 p.m.

That's funny oli :)

Leah

March 5, 2021, 8:19 p.m.

Oli, Thanks for your post as I can relate to much of it. I am often told I am too serious but as I mentioned before fake laughter at yoga was not for me. I am not good at pretending . That is interesting about laughter being social bonding as I often laugh more when alone and am often the only one laughing at a movie etc and I don’t laugh when others do. Not sure what that says about my soicial bonding.

Leah

March 5, 2021, 8:20 p.m.

Oli I saw the news report about it but didn’t find it thst funny maybe I need to see the video.

Leah

March 5, 2021, 8:22 p.m.

Oli just remembered a video about this sweet music teacher who was going to sing a song about doing music classes on zoom. She looked angelically into the camera then screamed. I found that funny as it was unexpected and true of how frustrated teachers felt,

Leah

March 5, 2021, 8:25 p.m.

Andrew there was another one way before zoom when a academic was explaining something serious and his two children came in, That was cute and funny.

AndrewH

March 5, 2021, 7:46 a.m.

Hi Leah Thank you for another blog that should prompt some interesting replies. I think my sense of humour has changed over the years but equally I see some old clips that are still hilarious decades later. I watched a programme on Billy Connolly this week and it reminded me of a trip to North Wales in the late 80s when one of my friends put a tape of Billy Connolly on. I was driving and we were laughing so much that I had to park. I don't like humour that attacks named individuals, apart from politicians who are fair game. Even people in the public eye are human beings with feelings - as is so often forgotten. Andrew

Reply

Leah

March 5, 2021, 8:30 p.m.

Andrew , Sometimes I find Bikky Connolly and sometimes nit, maybe depends on my mood. I think politicians are humans and can be made fun if for their politics but I feel nit humiliated because of who they are. Attack the idea not the person as they say in debating. I know here politicians like being made fun if if it is in good humour and have been photographed with the person who imitates them. Just when it gets too personal and the comedian attacks their family etc, I don’t think thst is funny.

DAVE

March 5, 2021, 8:41 a.m.

Hi Leah, thank you for your time to see the funny side of life. I have 3 vivid memories of two occasions which had me in hysterics one ALL day and the other in the Cinema. You've to picture the scene. My wife and I have been married for 55 years on October 8th 1966. We had just got married and our first film out we went to the Cinema to see Sophia Loren and Peter Sellers in a film, (I think it was called) 'Millionaire'. They had finished their meal and were getting up to leave the Restaurant. The Italian waiter says to buxom Sophia Loren in an Italian dialect "I wish you hapenis every day of your life"... I was in hysterics, I could not stop the 'Giggles', What made it worse was NO ONE ELSE in the LCinema was laughing !!! The second time was our first visit back to see 'The Outlaws' after moving to Otley in Yorkshire after our marriage in Bournemouth. We travelled by car back to Bournemouth to see My wifes mother and Grandmother. The Grandmother was a staunch Victoria, Dare'nt talk about ***, that type of person. We decided to take them to see the Lions at Longleat House. There were signs saying 'keep your doors and windows closed. We drove very slowly along the road where Lions were lying down. My drivers window was down, the Grandmother was 60 odd sitting next to me. My wife in the back with her mother. All of a sudden, out of the blue my wife pipes up, "You'd better shut your window Dave as the Lions might chew your genitals off".... I burst into hysterics, when her Grandmother says, Oh how dreadful, discusting, what did you say", discusting etc etc. All that day my wife and I, egged on by me, just could not stop laughing.. To appreciate the atmosphere you'd had to be there to believe it !!! My wife's Grandmother came into reality, showing just what Victorians got up too, this is no joke... Her mother and Grandmother came to stay in our tiny rented flat in Otley. I took her Grandmother's cooked breakfast into the bedroom, I said good morning I hope you slept well, and as I put the tray down...This Staunch Grandmother, opened her nightdress exposing herself to me and said "would you like a bit of ***". I didn't know what to say....I came out of the bedroom very quickly... The moral is Don't say what you mean, unless you mean what you say...in the Grandmother's instance !!! Thanks Leah for the opportunity to share two of the funniest times, many more in our marriage, even to this day, we can and do have hysterics the two of us after all these years... And if any Moodscoperd remember my blog a few years ago our difficulties in our marriage, you'll be pleased to know, neither of us are perfect, but we had counselling through a mutual Millionaire friend of ours whose is an experienced counselor... Thank you Leah. *** bless Dave Xx

Reply

Leah

March 5, 2021, 9:31 a.m.

Dave thanks for your comment, Thanks for sharing your comments.

Orangeblossom

March 5, 2021, 9:14 a.m.

Hi Leah, thanks for your blog, which as ever, I enjoy reading. We both, my OH & I enjoy the Carry On films which have recently had a re-run. I have really enjoyed a book by a Swedish author called ‘The Girl who saved the King of Sweden’ by Jonas Jonasson who is a Swedish journalist. I found the farcical element hugely entertaining. I like satire especially against politicians. Some of them treat themselves very seriously. I also liked Spitting Images.

Reply

Leah

March 5, 2021, 9:32 a.m.

Orangeblossom Thanks for your reply.

Sally

March 5, 2021, 9:33 a.m.

Hi Leah, a good topic . I find it really difficult to say what makes me laugh..because I don’t always laugh easily. I can sit through a comedy without once laughing. I find situations funny, the unexpected, and the embarrassing moments . I find people funny, their take on life , the accents and choice of words. Word jokes can be hilarious, and timing is everything. Banter between friends is most enjoyable, they seem to know how to make you laugh. Quick fire repartee. It really does depend on my mood too, whether I can let go enough to enjoy and giggle. Thanks for raising a very important subject. Any lightening of mood is a plus in my books.

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Leah

March 5, 2021, 10:24 a.m.

Sally, I agree timing is everything . Thanks for your comments.

The Gardener

March 5, 2021, 11:21 a.m.

My favourites, which I can laugh at time and time again, nobody has ever heard of. One, Alan Coren (one time editor of Punch) does well what I attempt badly - take an odd/funny/peculiar piece of news and take it to extremes. Patrick Campbell ditto. The film 'What's up Doc' with Barbra Streisand still has a 'chase' scene in San Francisco which makes me laugh although the film decades old - some, the timing is so good the humour still works. Forgotten film, Peter O'Toole, chaotic love life, Fenella Fielding failed suicide attempts, should not be funny, is.

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Leah

March 5, 2021, 11:36 a.m.

thanks TG. Yes looking at the news in a different way can be funny. There were two aussies who would do a 5min interview pretending to be politician, no wigs or costumes just words. they were a great duo, sadly one died suddenly a few years ago. it was clever not something that made me laugh. Timing is so important.

Patty

March 5, 2021, 4:30 p.m.

When I was an older kid, my whole family used to like The Carol Burnett Show. She was so funny and so were the other comedians on her show. Her expressions and characters were really funny. Our whole family of 4 kids and our parents would just be in stitches watching it together. I don't care for "goofy" or "potty" humor where guys make rude sounds or dorky actions. I really can't explain, but I've noticed guys sometimes like this type of humor more than I do and some others do. I do think humor is personal. I like witty people like Jerry Seinfeld too.

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Leah

March 5, 2021, 8:32 p.m.

I used to watch carol burnett with my fami,YK too patty.. thanks for the memory.

Leah

March 5, 2021, 8:34 p.m.

Remember when mother in law jokes or wife jokes were considered funny. Maybe our. U,true changes and so our humour does.

Leah

March 5, 2021, 8:35 p.m.

Culture changes

Mary Wednesday

March 5, 2021, 5:12 p.m.

I remember, many years ago, going to the cinema to watch The Comic Strip Presents The Pope Must Die, starring Robbie Coltrane as a humble country priest who is elected Pope owing to a clerical error. It struck us suddenly, in the middle of the film, that our group were the only ones laughing. I guess you had to be part of the church to recognise and get all the jokes; a lot of humour is the comedy of recognition. I hate comic shows like Fawlty Towers of Mr Bean because I cannot laugh AT people: I always feel too sorry for them and want to help them escape their predicaments. I find that humour cruel. I love the writings of Terry Pratchett. His books are not just funny on the surface, but he buries jokes so deeply you only get them on the 5th time of reading. His books are satirical but deeply compassionate and contain a clear social and moral imperative. And the cartoons of Garry Larsen. My favourite is the picture of two hunters, clad in pith helmets and safari suits in the middle of the jungle. "I know there's a tiger here somewhere," one says. It is only on a second look you see the picture is in a vertical ellipse frame: we are seeing the hunters literally through the eye of the tiger.

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Leah

March 5, 2021, 8:40 p.m.

Mary I remember as a student being the only one laughing at parts of a woody Allen movie maybe Annie Hall. Then not laughing when every else did. I never liked Mr Bean and people could understand why or some mothers do have them. Thanks fir sharing what makes you laugh.

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