Friday, May 6, 2011

How Funny Are You?

I grew up during a time when stand up comedians ruled the world; Richard Pryor and George Carlin ruled from on high [no pun intended] with iron fists. Late night talk shows regularly featured both of them. While they each had their own brand, they were both really good story tellers at heart and outrageously funny in their own way. Richard provided a peek behind the scenes at black American culture while George Carlin provided a view into a white American culture that made us uncomfortable.

Everyone has a sense (his or hers) of humor. I am a firm believer that, much like I believe everyone is capable of making art, everyone can be witty. Case in point - By the end of the night @ Cult Movie Night @ Gary's - everyone in attendance has made at least one clever comment; if not two.

I heard this story - What Makes Something Funny? - on NPR while cruising home last week and it really got me thinking. As a species, what are the benefits of being funny? It doesn't help us gather food, reproduce, or build a shelter. Did humor evolve shortly after we became non-nomadic by producing beer? Imagine what it would be like if folks didn't have a sense of humor ...what if everyone acted like a fact spewing, no personality character on some CSI show?

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