As a life-long standup lover and of comedy in general, I can be awesomely nerdy when it comes to analyzing why things are funny. Style, content, timing, all of it fascinates me. And I am not a comedy snob. I enjoy a good baby farting on Grandma just as much as I enjoy Woody Allen.
So of all the things I believe about comedy, my thesis is this:
Funny: instinct > calculation
Here are some of my beliefs about humor that have tended to hold true over time.
- Being consistently referred to as a funny person is not something that is able to be trained. It is a way of thinking we get from our parents and friends from a very young age.
- One's Level Of Funniness can be sharpened with the right kind of experience.
- Being funny with family = Level 0; being funny with friends = Level 1; being the funniest of your friends (as decided by them) is level 2; being funny with strangers casually/socially is level 3; being consistently funny in front of crowds of strangers is the ultimate level 4.
- Improvisation is not the same as telling pre-crafted jokes - they are different humor skill sets with only a little overlap.
- Being able to analyze humor is a million times easier than actually being funny.
- Writing funny is a different skill set than talking funny or 'doing' funny.