How Funny is Funny ?

18 Nov

This is a question which I always think about. We all talk about being funny and being sullen. Is funny funny ? If you think about it, you will find that funny need not really be funny. The same argument holds the other way as well. Is sorrow really sorrow ? Once again, it is all context dependent and if you dig deep into it, you will find that it is rather ironical.

I was watching “America’s Funniest Videos” the other day. They show all kinds of home made video clips which are supposed to be funny. An old lady trying to get out of the boat and falling into water, a kid beating up his father with a stick, an animal getting scared about some event, an ice-skater/roller blader skidding and falling out of balance, etc., Are these events really funny? Do we all smile at it because we have a group in the TV audience to back it up? Not only that, the title says it is funny. So, it is supposed to be funny. So, does that mean that, if one’s sorrow can cause a lot of people to be happy and elated, it is funny ? And if one’s sorrow causes a lot of people to be sad, is it sorrowful? Being funny always has its cost. Almost always, someone’s happiness needs to be sacrificed, isnt it? What if that somone feel’s bad about the fact that their act turned out to be funny? There is nothing they can do about it. Even if they act serious about it, they will be considered morose… is it how it works ? Now, is funny really funny ? I dont think so…


Posted by on November 18, 2005 in From AM-KICKING blog


4 responses to “How Funny is Funny ?

  1. sdpal

    November 19, 2005 at 1:12 am

    Regarding the AFV.. It isnt funny most of the time (although, very few of them are really funny, inspite of whether anyone gets hurt or not). Sometime, I even think, some people are purposefully getting hurt, to send it to AFV. (I wonder, how much money they get for that! Maybe their pain is worth that much and also they get to see them on National telivision).
    I beleive, human mind (mostly) looks for something bad to happen for others. Look at the news daily (deaths and killing & kidnapping occupy 50% of the news)
    Even, the Sept-11 attacks.. I beleive most of us have seen more than 100 times (not because they showed it on TV). Even if they show it now.. we will tend to watch, rather than switching to other channel. I dont know, how to explain this.. but some satisfaction is got by watching that subconsciously. I guess the satisfaction would be that we didnt get affected or something similar to that.
    Even chaplin/laurel-hardy comedies were also somewhat similar stuff (not all of them.. but some of them). They get hurt.. we laughed at it.
    But, I would conclude, just with AFV, we cant measure funny. There are some funny things that happen and we cant ignore that (where no one gets hurt)
    Maybe not always.. but sometimes.. funny is really funny.

  2. BrainWaves

    November 19, 2005 at 4:03 pm

    I started thinking about all the funny things we enjoy and try to sort them.

    There are clean fun in the form and sitcoms. Though most of the sitcoms takes situation from real life which we could associate, since they are fictional, we can watch without feeling guilty of watching someone else pain.

    Same goes for Charlie Chaplin and Laurel & Hardy. We know it is not real and that way there is no guilty factor.

    AFV is not funny lot of times. But in my list, “Candid camera” features at the bottom of the list.
    I feel damn guilty if I laugh at some of those jokes. Most of the time, I put myself in their shoes (person getting embarrassed mostly) and feel very uncomfortable.
    In that respect, AFV is self-inflicted pain or embarassment, which is better 🙂

    I vote for fictional funny!

  3. Mindframes

    November 19, 2005 at 11:00 pm

    My point is not about a specific serial. I agree that, if the characters involved are fictional, we dont feel bad. Especially, cartoons. Have we ever seen a cartoon and felt bad about what goes on? That said, my question is more about the definition of what “funny” is…

  4. Survivor

    November 22, 2005 at 1:09 am

    How I view funny:
    It is funny if,in the process,
    – the other person is not hurt.If he is , then it is sad.
    – the other person is not insulted. If he is, then it is insulting ofcourse.
    – the other person is hurt and still enjoys it himself.
    – the other person is insulted but cares two hoots about what others think. ( sitcoms)


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