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What’s so funny?

November 20, 2010

Humor is subjective. But scientists believe they may have located where the sense of humor lives in our brains.

I’m not going to try and paraphrase the article because, to be honest, even though it was thankfully short, it was kind of boring. And since I’m not a scientist or doctor, I’m not really sure that the location of the sense of humor in the brain is important to me. Just knowing that it’s there might be important because if I ever tell a bad joke then maybe I can blame it on a headache?

Here’s what one of the doctors who led the study mapping the location of humor in the brain said about why the study might be important:

“There have been few studies of humor’s place in the brain, but understanding the basis of positive emotions will likely be as helpful as understanding the negative ones,” he said. “In the future, scans of brain activity might be used routinely by psychiatrists to assess patients who have mood disorders such as depression, which often is accompanied by a loss of humor. Using humor and other emotional stimuli might be helpful in bringing out functional brain abnormalities not shown by other techniques.”

I guess I’ll take his word for it.

Anyway, what do you find funny? That’s not a rhetorical question, I’m really curious. I have a long list of things I think are funny but at the top of the list would probably be The Marx Brothers, puns and The Three Stooges. But like I said, it’s a long list. Here’s a video of one thing I find funny.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. November 20, 2010 1:49 pm

    I think my husband is funny. I really appreciate his sense of humor, which is probably why we’ve managed to stay married for almost 40 years. I also laugh at The Office, although sometimes Michael is more annoying than funny. I think the TV show, In The Middle, is funny. I loved Cheers, Mash and Seinfeld, and still laugh at the re-runs, even though I’ve probably seen each episode a dozen or more times! When my son was about 8, he used to tell me Chicken jokes. They were funny because he told them in such an endearing way. So I guess I think people can be funny … and certain TV shows are funny. I think you have a very droll, witty sense of humor that shines through in your writing.

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    • Michael Fishman permalink
      November 21, 2010 4:39 pm

      I used to really love The Office but then Michael started to bug me and I started getting that feeling like I’m laughing at a retarded guy and I didn’t like that and quit watching. Have you watched the UK version starting Ricky Gervais? It’s really great and well worth watching. His Extras series is also very, very good. Thank you for the compliment in your last sentence!

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  2. CELT permalink
    November 20, 2010 2:23 pm

    Humour is such an individual thing, isn’t it. Two out of the three things you mentioned I don’t find funny at all in any way EXCEPT we share a love of puns. I find the Stooges and Marx Bros. humour juvenile and puns I think are witty and a sign that people have the intelligence to use words to play. The Jerry clip, while clever was not “funny” to me although it was very watchable. I cannot truly categorize just exactly what makes me laugh but I know when I hear/see it and I can appreciate humour to the point that I laugh so hard that tears roll down my face. A good laugh is good for the soul – a cleansing and renewing experience that at least temporarily lets you forget your troubles. Much like one man’s junk is another man’s treasure, so is humour. The trick is finding someone who you can share a laugh with when you’ve found that thing that tickles your funny bone (which in case you don’t know is named for a real bone called the “Humerus” that IMO they should have called the Tragic or something along those lines since it hurts so badly when you whack your elbow and it certainly AIN’T Humerous!)

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    • Michael Fishman permalink
      November 21, 2010 4:42 pm

      Celt, next time a Marx Brothers movie is on try watching it for Groucho. I like all the brothers, but just about every one of Groucho’s lines is a pun or some type of wordplay! Have you ever heard of Norman Cousins? He used humor to help treat his own illness.

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  3. November 20, 2010 11:42 pm

    I have never enjoyed Jerry Lewis. And I know why. When I was young and the whole family would sit together and watch The Ed Sullivan show, we listened to what my Dad said about all the acts. We learned not to like Jerry Lewis, Lisa Minnelli, Sammy Davis Jr., and Dean Martin. It’s amazing but his influence still affects me. His favorites are still my favorites. Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney,Nat King Cole and Perry Como are the voices that blast through my stereo speakers at Christmas. But in my book, the man that can make me pee my pants is old time stand up Bill Cosby. I wish I knew where my humor spot in my brain. I haven’t heard a really good joke since my Dad died in 1996.

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    • Michael Fishman permalink
      November 21, 2010 4:45 pm

      Bill Cosby is great! I was never a huge fan of his sitcom, but I loved his stand-up comedy. I love Nat King Cole, too, and Rosemary Clooney has an amazing voice. I don’t think I’d put her above Ella Fitzgerald, but I’d put her high on the list. We need to find a good joke for you…

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