Laughter I Can Depends On

Reverb Broads Bloggers

December 2012


Prompt 4 – What makes you laugh? (Prompt by Laurie)


I was blessed with my father’s sense of humor and my mother’s sense of whimsy; laughter comes easily, often, and without regard to propriety. I might be addicted to it, since I need a daily dose of it. I’m kind of a tough sell, however, on what gets a whole-hearted belly laugh and what gets an obligatory snort. Spontaneous humor: the unexpected comment, the crazy hat, the “did you see that?” of being in the right place at the right time, those are the things that get the real laugh. Oft-told jokes get the polite chuckle or snort, and I’ve always thought they should serve as a signal to the joke-teller that he’s wasting his time on me, but, regrettably, it often encourages more. In fact, that was almost the kiss-of-death before meeting my future husband. My friend told me “he tells a lot of jokes!” and I groaned inwardly and hoped never to meet her comedian friend. On meeting him, I found him funny in spite of the jokes, because he popped a couple of one-liners off the top of his head. Thirty-odd years later, he still makes me laugh, although not always at his jokes.

Over the years, I’ve developed a litmus test for the truly funny: if it made me laugh until I cried, it was truly funny; if it made me pee my pants, it was hysterical. Surprisingly few things that are meant to be funny fit those categories. Here are a few:

Carol Burnett Show: the Elephant Story, an outtake

Carol Burnett Show: The Dentist

Fawlty Towers: The Health Inspector

I’m only providing a link to the first of three parts to this show, hoping that the laughs at the beginning can entice you to watch the other two parts—in the right frame of mind, the end of the show has left me flat on my back, laughing, crying and peeing with abandon.

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