“Humor is subjective.”
You’ve probably heard or said that when a joke falls flat, but it’s still true. Movies that send my wife into convulsions of laughter sometimes leave me cold, and vice versa. Fortunately, we have a lot of middle ground, like Community.
Community is a great example of a brilliant, hilarious show that doesn’t work for everyone. Some consider it too weird, and I think the jokes come too fast for some viewers. Also, it’s so full of references to popular culture that you might not get a joke because you don’t know the reference.
Community’s alternate-universe twin is The Big Bang Theory, fantastically more popular but deeply hated by a vocal segment of the geek tribe. Some resent the way it caricatures geeks, while others despise laugh tracks. Why is it that this show gets all the ratings, while Community enjoys the critical acclaim?
Puns make some groan, but others love them. Irony is a spectrum, and not everyone appreciates the nastiest sarcasm (the root words of which mean “to tear the flesh”). High snark can be a thing of beauty, but too often it falls into stupid “mean girl” territory. And maybe the quickest way to divide the average audience comes in two words: fart joke.
Whether it’s on TV, in movies, or in books, what kind of humor do you love? And what kind of humor turns you off? Have you encountered an instance in which a joke you’d usually hate turned out to be funny because of the way it was told? Do you prefer gags, character humor, pratfalls, “joke grenades”?
In short, what makes you laugh?
Come back on Wednesday for an interview with one of the funniest guys I know, Jeff Grubb. Wednesday is also the last day to enter the Crossing the Streams multi-author book giveaway.