What’s so funny?

Last night a group of my friends went to the Funny Bone to see D. L. Hughley. There was an emcee, whose name I do not remember, and an opening local comic named Danny T.

After the show, we discussed the humor – what we found funny and who, of the three, was the ‘funniest’. Oh, funny’s a difficult term to pin down. I know I don’t write humor. My husband doesn’t think I’m funny (something about my joke timing is off), though several of my friends laugh at my jokes. Well, they laugh when I’m not joking, too, but that’s probably another story.

I hadn’t seen enough of D. L. Hughley’s humor to know what was repeated and what was new from his act. Danny T I have heard once before, and I recognized a couple of his lines. Both the comics have different styles, and one of my friends thought Hughley seemed more practiced.

Is that bad?

Most jokes are definitely funnier the first time around, but some of them are funny every time. It must be hard to be a comedian.

It must be harder if you’re afraid to offend someone. Most of the jokes were at least a little off-color. It reminds me of a quote from the book Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein, I had thought — I had been told — that a ‘funny’ thing is a thing of a goodness. It isn’t. Not ever is it funny to the person it happens to. Like that sheriff without his pants. The goodness is in the laughing itself. I grok it is a bravery… and a sharing… against pain and sorrow and defeat.”

What do you think of jokes?