Skip to main content


Humor is an interesting concept. It would seem to exist only within the realm of human consciousness (ever seen a dog, or a cat, or a canary laugh?), and yet it is extremely diversified among people. Humor often derives itself from pain, from a shared point of reference, from common culture, identity, etc. A lot of people can agree on what is funny, but then many are splintered by what doesn't make them laugh. That's what I'm here to talk about today: what leaves me cold, and why.

A couple of years ago, some friends invited me to go with them to see comedienne Lisa Lampanelli. I politely declined. You see, dear reader, Ms. Lampanelli is one of those whom I find unfunny. Her schtick (if one dare call it that) is to hurl insults. At everyone. She has been dubbed the "Queen of Mean." Sorry, but that just isn't my cup of tea.

Robin Williams is another one that I don't 'get.' When he's playing a serious role in a film (Awakenings, Good Will Hunting, Insomnia, to name a few), he's excellent, and often underrated. But his comedy? It makes me want to gauge my eyes out.  I don't go in for the manic, spastic, shouty person running around like a chicken with their head cut off routine.

What of Jay Leno? Seriously... what of him? How someone so bland that they're in danger of blending into the scenery of their talk show set has remained the king of late night TV for two decades is beyond me. Maybe folks just like a big, chuckling chin that comes across affable and tells lame, relatively safe jokes. I dunno. Regardless, Mr. Leno's brand of humor has never appealed to me.

Of course, some of the stuff I find to be hilarious falls flat with others. Take the classic British sitcom Fawlty Towers as an example. Wonderfully structured slapstick humor, peppered with tons of witty dialogue. It remains fresh to this day, some thirty years on. Yet, I remember gleefully showing on episode to a friend once, whose face remained scrunched in dislike the entire time, until he finally let loose a tirade against the program of "people constantly shouting at each another."

To each their own, I suppose.


  1. To paraphrase Edmund Gwenn:

    Dying is easy. Comedy is hard.

    I think you hit the nail on the head with, "To each their own." Humor is so completely subjective. The 'you had to be there' moments are a good example. Even an accurate retelling of the moment isn't nearly as humorous as the initial event.

    Humor quite often fails in translation. It doesn't cross language or cultural barriers very easily. That may be one of the problems with people like Lisa Lampanelli. In my cultural circles, that sort of thing really isn't "funny." The same goes for Andrew Dice Clay. Being a misogynist asshole doesn't register big belly laughs with me for some reason.

    I've never found Jay Leno more than slightly amusing at times. I'd much rather listen to him talk about his antique cars. At least then it seems he has some passion.

    I love 'Fawlty Towers', as well as most of the Python members' work. A lot of people, though, particularly in the US, don't find British humor very humorous.

    Robin Williams is one that I've always enjoyed, though I admit to not really seeing any of his stage comedy for more than twenty-five years.

    One of the areas of humor that I especially enjoy: cancer jokes. They seem to take some people completely off guard for some reason.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog


Ok, we're now three-fourths of the way through this year's calendar, so I thought I'd rank the thirty-eight 2017 movies I've seen so far.

Here they are....

1. A Quiet Passion
2. Baby Driver
3. Dunkirk
4. Get Out
5. Kedi
6. A Ghost Story
7. Wonder Woman
8. Columbus
9. Brad's Status
10. Marjorie Prime
11. Maudie
12. Logan
13. Spider-Man: Homecoming
14. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
15. Brigsby Bear
16. Atomic Blonde
17. The Big Sick
18. Split
19. Kong: Skull Island
20. It
21. Wind River
22. A Cure for Wellness
23. The Hitman's Bodyguard
24. Norman
25. Kingsman: The Golden Circle
26. Logan Lucky
27. Alien Covenant
28. Ghost In the Shell
29. War for the Planet of the Apes
30. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
31. Life
32. Annabelle: Creation
33. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
34. My Cousin Rachel
35. Baywatch
36. The Bye Bye Man
37. mother!
38. It Comes at Night

It will be interesting to see what the last three months of the year brin…

The Best Superhero Movies of All-Time, Revisited

We are just a few days away from the North American release of Avengers:Infinity War. While I am dutifully going to see it opening night, it's not a film I'm looking forward to. It is (spoiler) part one of two, which means we can expect plenty of plot threads left dangling when the credits roll. In other words, part two will probably be better, and provide some actual resolution. Also, Thanos looks like a CGI yawn-fest. Hopefully, I'll be proved wrong.
Nevertheless, this is a good opportunity to rank (again) the major superhero movies (Marvel and otherwise) that we've had so far. As you know, I love making a list, and this one is going to be a definitive one! If you don't see a film on here, it's because I haven't seen it (the first two Thors, Iron Man 2, some of the X-Men features, etc.).   Alright, here we go.

Walk and Chew Gum

Yesterday marked a touchstone moment in the U.S., as students across the country participated in "walkouts." This was an occasion for students to express an array of thoughts and emotions, ranging from a desire for stricter gun control, to simply sorrow over the loss of so many of their peers to school shootings. They were peaceful protests, but protests nonetheless. Where you're at on the spectrum of agreeing or disagreeing with what they did may vary, though not wanting to get shot in your school seems pretty reasonable to me.
Some folks have taken to sharing a meme on social media platforms this week -- in direct anticipation and response to the walkouts -- that encourages students to "walk up, not out." Following are suggestions provided for the walk ups:

Walk UP to the kid who sits ALONE and ask him to join your groupWalk UP to the kid who never has a voluntary partner and offer to be hersWalk UP to your teachers and thank them!Walk UP to someone and JUST …