One of my core values is silliness: ”a little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants,” joyous, giggly, loving. I grew up adoring women like Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Barbara Streisand, and Mary Tyler Moore. People who can make me laugh are my favorite. I love stand-up comedy, funny TV shows, and movies that make me laugh.
What I don’t like is when a laugh comes at someone’s expense, comedy that depends on someone being the butt of the joke. It makes me uncomfortable, and sad. I can’t watch shows like Punk’d and I have never seen the movie “Borat.” I cringe at that kind of humor, not laugh. I can’t stand to think that someone is being mean, and someone else is being hurt, and an audience of other people are laughing about it, finding joy in it.
I had mentioned in my post yesterday that I rented the movie “Bridesmaids.” I really needed a good laugh, and I had heard such good things about it. And it was good, in a way. There are a few scenes in the beginning–the two main characters working out at the park together and then going to a cafe–that were so good, and if the whole movie had been like that, I would have loved it.
But too much of the movie’s humor depended on at least one person’s failure or trouble or suffering. I got so stressed out, I spent the last half of the movie eating cheese and crackers, trying to comfort myself. I wanted to love it, because so many of the actresses are some of my favorites, and I did like it, and there were a few really funny things, it just didn’t do for me what I was hoping–give me that fix of pure joy, allowing me to laugh off all the stress and yuck. I wanted a movie that made me laugh like “Away We Go.”
And because I’d rented Bridesmaids at Redbox–there was no gag reel! Just ask Eric, there’s nothing that bothers me more than no movie bloopers included in the special features, especially when the movie is a comedy. Gag reels and bloopers are one of my favorite things. In fact, if I wrote a list of my ten most favorite things, gag reels would be on it. I went online and found the one for this movie, and spent another half hour searching for and watching ones from other movies and TV shows–and I laughed! It felt so good.
I like self-deprecating humor, or physical comedy. I like comedy that points out how ridiculous we all are, “ha, ha aren’t we silly? but hey that’s okay, because we are all in this together, and we can laugh about it, so that makes it okay.”
This is one of my favorite comedy bits, from Brian Regan (a comedian who is hilarious without ever saying a bad word) about dogs barking at nothing. He does another funny bit about Pop Tarts.
- What makes you laugh?