July 17, 2022
Fatimah Aderinto, Low Entropy Volunteer Writer
Have you ever brewed a good joke in your head and spilled it with the slightest hope that it would tickle your audience’s funny bone? While the intent of a joke should be to express humor and interact with other people, I note that one needs not be a comedian to be funny. Everyone can be funny.
While science has a myriad of content to explain why some people are funnier than others, it seems obvious that we cannot all be funny at a professional level. Our brains are wired in unique ways that create fewer comedians than audiences. interpreting everyday scenarios in ways most people may not think of is a brain feat. We cannot all be stand-up-comedy-funny. Fine. For casual humor though, the mood still needs proper lighting before the action — that is, there needs to be an event driving the comedic momentum to its maximum. Rarely thinkable jokes are the ones that usually make the cut in both renowned stand-up comedy and social media memes, and the mistakes and activities in everyday events — those that we do not read much into — are what we see portrayed in media that charge us with laughter.
There has been a dramatic increase in meme culture in social media. Memes are the rising emblem of funny. Writing for The Atlantic, Olga Khazan suggests that a joke must be concocted with a deliberate “wicked twist” that showcases the joke-teller’s power to control the spectators’ comedic temperature — memes incorporate this phenomenon on a large scale. People share memes quickly and with no hassle, for others to regurgitate and archive them for later use. Here we can see that if something funny comes free, cheap and ready, people tend to seek more of it, rebranding what it means to be funny in a contemporary context.
Everyone can be funny because comedy is an art form that can be expressed through common experiences like grocery shopping, filling up your gas tank and paying for movie tickets. One need not be a comedian to know how to use analogies to quickly turn a conversation into a humorous exchange.
A person’ funniness can depend on their emotional perspective. In this alarming world filled with anxiety, pressure and loneliness, it can be difficult to find humor, but difficult emotions also afford us a rich cache of situations to mould into fun for others. With skill and intentionality, someone may be able to elevate a mere utterance into a funny joke. Then people can relish challenging moments and, laughing at a joke, offload the heavy emotions that come with them.
Fatimah Aderinto is a biochemistry student and poet. She weaves words and emotions such that they tackle emerging societal concerns.
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