Is it important to you to Be Funny?
It's always felt like part of my self-identification that I'm the kind of person who regularly says things that make people laugh.
And I'm pretty sure the same is true of a fair number of my friends, but I've never really discussed it much. So now I'm asking.
To put it another way, do you think of yourself more as a humor generator or a humor appreciator? Or both?
For me, I think the desire to Be Funny comes from a variety of sources. Family, for example. (My father and his brothers and their father all told jokes all the time, all my life.) Wanting to be liked. Getting positive reinforcement when I say funny things. And so on.
So I'm also curious about why it's important to you to be funny, if it is.
And I'm wondering about what forms that humor takes. There are a lot of different ways to be funny in daily life. (I'm not really talking about people who do it professionally or who perform humor for large audiences, though I realize that the distinction I'm making here is pretty blurry.) For example:
- Some people are into what I'll call clowning, for lack of a better word: doing funny stuff, making funny faces, behaving or performing ridiculously with the goal of making other people laugh.
- Some people Tell Jokes, or anecdotes or riddles or entertaining stories.
- Some people habitually keep an eye out for places in conversation to make funny responses to things that others say. I have this habit (some part of my mind is almost always scanning every word or phrase I encounter and checking it for humor possibilities), and though much of the time I think acting on it improves social interaction, there are contexts where I try to repress it. In meetings at work, for example, I try to weigh any given funny comment that comes to mind against the likelihood of it derailing the serious topic at hand.
- Some people do amateur standup or improv, but again that starts to get into an area of performance that, to me, feels different from conversational humor. (But I'd be interested in learning whether it feels different to those of you who do it.)
And so on; there are lots of different kinds of humor, and I'm not trying for an exhaustive catalog here.
(There are also plenty of other axes along which kinds of humor could be categorized, of course. For example, some people like humor involving embarrassing or ridiculing others, some people like puns, some people like toilet humor, and so on. But I think that's a somewhat different axis from the one I'm considering here, which has more to do with the form of the humor than its content.)
And of course plenty of people do more than one of the above.
So what about you? If you regularly (or even irregularly) generate humor, what are your usual or favorite forms for doing so?