That's what show business is, sincere insincerity.

~ Benny Hill ~

Happy Humor in 39 Flavors

May 30th, 2012 ~ Est. reading time: 1 min, 59 secs

Humor is catching!

I smile when I think about how humor differs around the world. You’d think having a laugh was pretty much universal and, in a way, it is. Comedy geniuses like Charlie Chaplin touched people the world over with his happy humor and sheer comic genius. But times have changed and what makes people laugh seems more diverse than ever.

Some people love the happy humor of slapstick, breaking into uproarious laughter at the sight of someone tripping over. Others will giggle at the cleverness of a pun or the shock contrast of an odd twist. Still others will laugh loudly simply because they think something is meant to be funny.

There are layers (flavors if you like) of humor. Some gently tease you, bringing you out of sober seriousness into a realm of silliness. While others wallop you with their shock value. Which type of humor suits you is certainly a matter of taste.

True Aussie humor, for instance, is as dry as the land itself. It’s not easy to “get” until you see its understatement borders on the ridiculous. And, as for German humor, well I’d put my hand up to say it has many similarities to American hilarity. Whilst British comedy, well what can I say? To my mind, the Brits are the undisputed kings of happy humor.

Often, humor disguises agendas, and I find myself feeling uncomfortable when it’s used to degrade people or undermine genuine efforts done well. Jokes about people’s faith and race, for instance, disappoint. It’s too easy to take a cheap shot in ignorance and create division. Much wiser to share a snippet of truly happy humor that brightens people’s lives. So when somebody gets a group laughing about what is decidedly nasty, I say step away. When it comes right down to it, they don’t know how ignorant they’re being.

Aside from those gifted types who make you laugh without trying (or those who have made happy humor a fine art), a lot of comedy comes naturally, simply in living. Through a funny facial expression captured on camera, a crazy cat’s move, or any number of ridiculous little moments, you can give your funny bone a good tickling. Which is just as well, as I’m convinced we could all laugh a lot more. Not because everything is hilarious. Far from it. Just that sharing the pleasure of happy humor is incredibly good for you.

So beware of being over-serious over often. It’s an affliction. If your work and life are intensely momentous that’s fine. Just don’t live it continuously. If all the serious stuff was the equivalent of a main dish, I’d recommend not overdoing it. Instead, I’d suggest leaving plenty of room for the dessert of happy humor. Simply choose your favorite flavor and enjoy it all. It’s delicious!



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