Sense of humour failure

Humour’s a funny thing, as the saying goes.

I’ve been reading some of the comment on Ricky Gervais’  hosting of the Golden Globes with a degree of puzzlement;  he has apparently offended people by not being amusing.

Now, as I’ve never thought he was entertaining, this hardly feels like news.

But then, I don’t like comedy.

If I ever do watch it, I imagine it’s a bit like asking a dyslexic person to read a big block of text.  I know what’s its function is, I can see the constituent elements, but it doesn’t communicate anything to me.

I once made the mistake of replying, when asked at the beginning of an ‘Assertiveness Course’ (yes, really; it wasn’t my money) if I enjoyed comedy.

‘No. I don’t have a sense of humour.’

I then had to suffer for the three days of the course being ‘positively reinforced and encouraged’ every time I said anything even remotely amusing.

In exasperation, at the final feedback session, when the facilitator started on at me again about how much of a sense of humour  he thought I had, I virtually shouted ‘I know. I was only joking.’

At that moment, he found it extremely difficult to conceal his own humour failure.

A theatre review that even hints at rolling around the aisles with merriment, will put me off immediately.  The mention of  ‘farce’ has me heading for the door.

I have sat in the middle of a row in a packed theatre feeling like the only person not laughing, irritated by the idiocy of the mirthful people sitting around me.

A good friend, who knows my taste, will often say

‘I thought it was very funny.  You’d hate it.’

With supreme arrogance I once decided I would enter a BBC competition for new sitcom writers.  I had an idea, which I still think has potential, but most likely in a different form.

As part of my preparation, and bearing in mind until that point I don’t think I’d ever watched a whole episode of any sitcom from beginning to end, I borrowed some box sets from a friend.

I wanted to understand about the structure of them, the limited sets, limited cast, necessity of characterisation and set up and pay off, all within 30 minutes.

It was torture, especially the ones with laughter tracks.

I’m unlikely to try it again, and will seek my laughs in real life instead.

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1 Comment

  1. margaret nickels

     /  January 20, 2011

    It is possibly about control and manipulation…….. if one is not told in advance something may be funny …….. Have you heartd the one about ……?!


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