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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Make a Funny

Tip for making your life easier: Be Funny. It's amazing how well people respond to you when you make them laugh, or even crack a smile. Think of the funniest person you know - do they have lots of friends? Do you want to be around them? Probably yes to both questions. So develop a sense of humor and watch your popularity climb.

But before you engage in the pursuit of The Funny, I think it's important to spell out some possible categories:

  • Comical - the most famous Funny. Think of the class clown and you know what I'm talking about. A Comical person is always looking for a way to make you laugh. A lot of body humor involved here.
  • Dry - this is on the opposite end of The Funny spectrum from Comical. Still funny, but not necessarily looking for the laugh. Unique in that the funny person usually isn't smiling when they say The Funny.
  • Witty - this is when you think of something funny to say really fast in response to something someone else just said or something that just happened. And you have to say it IMMEDIATELY. If you wait, it's not as funny. This one take a lot of smarts and I'm not sure that you can actually learn it.
  • Nerdy - not everyone may know about this Funny category. You have to have specialized knowledge about a subject to understand this type of Funny. Here's an example: At a computer seminar, a man proudly presents a prototype for a new voice activated computer system. "It's the only one of its kind! Try it! Say any instruction!" A man from the back yells, "Format c colon enter!" Hah! I laugh every time. That's some good stuff. What, you're not laughing? That's ok because Funnies in this category don't have to be computer-related. There are actually sub-categories - computer, general engineering, chemical engineering, law, medicine...the list is endless. Just make sure that you know your subject well or you'll look more idiotic than funny.
  • Generational - this type of Funny is understood only by someone in the general age group of the Funny Maker. Example - there's this cell phone commercial that tries to be funny by using those abbreviations that kids use in text messages, like BFF and such. I say "and such" because I don't know any other abbreviations. I'm one of those old people (thirty-something) that actually pecks out complete sentences in a text message. So that commercial just isn't funny to me. But kids probably think it's hilarious.
  • Sarcasm - this is a tricky one. IMHO (whadayouknow, I knew another!), Sarcasm isn't all that funny. It often elicits a quick half-smile that turns into a "should I laugh at that?" look. Try it. You'll see what I mean. Makes you feel kind of yucky, which totally defeats the purpose.
  • Humor at Someone Else's Expense - this category of Funny is the armpit of the Funny world. And that's all I have to say about that.

Now that you know some categories of Funny, try to figure out what category you're naturally inclined to. (If it's Sarcasm or Humor at Someone Else's Expense, try to reprogram yourself.) Practice being funny in that way. You might miss the mark sometimes, but keep trying.

Advanced Funny People can combine a couple of the different categories to reach higher levels of funniness. For example, I love the combination of Witty and Comical. I am personally not gifted in this way, but I know those that are (my dear husband for one).

A primo example of an Advanced Funny Person is Jesus Christ Himself. The Sermon on the Mount is just full of humor. You see, I have the feeling that a lot of what Jesus said was in direct response to something or someone in the crowd, making Him Witty. And He liked to throw in a physical aspect, making Him Comical. Like when He said the thing about being all worried about the speck in someone else's eye when you have a plank in your own. I can just see Him picking up a stick to demonstrate. You have to play it out like a movie in your mind to get it, but once you do it's totally worth it. You'll never look at the Bible the same way again. And if you're a Christian, Jesus can be your own personal Funny Mentor - "Jesus, please help me to be a Funny Maker like you!" Awesome.

So pursue The Funny. Make 'em laugh. IT COULD CHANGE THE WORLD! (This is an Exaggeration - another type of Funny I failed to mention, but whatever, you get the point.)

It's been real.

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