Some time ago, I got into an extensive, drawn-out discussion with a group of friends about the nature of humor and what makes something funny. The first time we talked about it, we just named things we could think of that we found humorous and described what it was about those things that made them funny. When we were having trouble identifying some unifying factor, we decided to each keep a journal for a week of everything that made us laugh (time consuming, but amusing in its own right, really) and why. These things could be loosely grouped into categories (sex humor, slapstick, etc) by the end of the week.
There were a lot of aspects to this past conversation, and I’m curious for some more perspectives on the matter, so I’m going to make a short series of the Thursday AIs on this topic. For this week:
What kind of themes have you noticed, or can you identify, in the things you find funny? Are there a few very strong factors, or a lot of scattered ones that don’t necessarily hang together?
The Afternoon Inqueery (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Queereka community. Look for it every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday at 3pm ET.
Featured image is from Calvin & Hobbes, by Bill Watterson.