What Makes You Laugh?

Have you ever wondered who was the very first person to laugh. How did it happen. Did the early humans laugh.

And if they did laugh was it because they found something funny or was it a primal survival skill which had nothing to do with humour.

Was laughter used as a warning like a lion’s roar.

Perhaps it was a way to assert dominance – only the Alpha could laugh, and that laugh meant “HAHA! I am the greatest!”

(and in private the Alpha’s laughter would become hysterical, eventually turning into sobs, for there was nowhere left to go once you’d reached the top, everyone hated you for lording it over them, were plotting to overthrow you, you were alone… at last).

Lynette from In The Net! has challenged me to write a post about what makes me laugh a big hearty belly laugh that leaves me weak and teary-eyed.

When I saw her question I thought – Oh, this is easy to answer! – but then after about five minutes of listening to the static hum filling my empty mind… I thought – Oh, this is really tricky to answer… therefore it is a brilliant question!

I laugh a lot.

I have a wide variety of laughs.

I use laughter in different ways for different purposes.

Early on in my life I found that laughter could defuse a tense situation. If I could make a fool of myself (which is incredibly simple to do as inanity is an innate gift for me) and get other people to laugh at me, they’d release tension that way instead of the other way they’d intended to release it.

I used to use that mostly on my mother. My buffoonery could interrupt her tantrum cycles. She enjoyed laughing at me as it often gave her the same internal tension release results as screaming at me and then lecturing me for hours afterwards.

It also made me appear to be less of a threat to her ego, I was an idiot so she was safe in her role as smartest person in the room.

TV Teens – Vol. 2, No. 12

Laughing, I repeatedly found, was a good way of dealing with people who were attacking me verbally, psychologically, emotionally.

If you laugh (not AT them – that’ll only make things worse) when someone is trying to upset you, make you angry, hurt you, it confuses them.

Their routine relies on you reacting to their attack in the manner which they expect and have scripted for you so that they can get whatever it is they’re trying to get out of the whole scenario – if you don’t react as expected, if you go off script, it throws a spanner in their works and they may leave you alone, think twice before using you as their target.

I used to put that into practice with my father. He prided himself on being able to find a person’s weak spot, and he was very adept at it, and then stabbing it to watch them crumble. I found that laughing when he stabbed me, made it less fun for him to stab me, which meant he did it less frequently.

Laughter can be a bit of a lightsaber.

by Naolito

I also use laughter on myself to snap myself out of my own narrative spin cycles.

If I can find something to laugh about in some story I’m telling myself, then I can unravel the knots before they get too constrictive.

And frankly it’s not that hard to find something funny because many of my interior tales are based on misunderstandings.

I also have a slightly dark, sick and twisted sense of humour… it is never too soon to chuckle at my troubles, as it takes the sting out of them, and can help me to work through them more logically.

I find it hard to take myself seriously when I’m taking myself too seriously. I find myself hilarious. There’s so much absurdity within.

My experience of being human is a rather ridiculous one… particularly when looked at in reverse. When looking at how I got myself into some mess, trouble, some awkward situation.

I do like to analyse my own system to figure out how A led to Z (my MBTI is INTP), how I got myself into trouble… sometimes doing that is how I get into trouble, especially with other people if I do it out loud.

I wonder if they did that on purpose… it definitely makes this funnier

I can laugh at just about anything, everything, especially at nothing at all.

But…

What makes me laugh a big hearty belly laugh that leaves me weak and teary-eyed?

I’m not so keen on the whole laughing AT other people type of humour.

Jokes at the expense of one person or a type of person (eg. those with Dyslexia), where people are singled out as a laughing stock, usually piss me off and make me dislike the person telling the joke.

If the joke is solely at my expense, I’m usually okay with that… depends on the joke and why I’m being turned into a joke. If it is truly funny, and makes me genuinely laugh, that’s great! However if it is mean-spirited mockery then… there’s this smile and laugh I do when people do that which is like a crocodile assessing its next meal.

I do enjoy observational humour when the joke is about human behaviour, the crazy shit we say and do, and the teller of the joke includes themselves in the joke.

Like Martin Matte, he’s a French Canadian comedian whose TV Show – Les Beaux Malaises – had me guffawing loudly.

this is a still from Les Beaux Malaises – that’s Martin Matte trying to hang a picture on the wall

His DIY sketches had me in stitches because… that’s me doing DIY!

It’s funnier when I can relate, when my laughing at him is me laughing at myself too.

Here’s the entire “Le Cadre” sketch, hopefully you see it from wherever you are as it makes me laugh every time (you don’t need to understand French to enjoy this, he barely says a word, you just need to understand human):

That’s it from me…

Over to you!

What makes you laugh?

22 comments

  1. Haha… you do DIY like this? Hmmm… you probably should leave DIY to you partner lol… Like I always tell Mrs Landlady, please be patient and leave DIY to me when Mr Landlord is not around but sometimes people are simply stubborn.

    That’s a good question in the title of this post and had me thinking for awhile. At a pause, I decided to continue my music series hahaha but the post ended up more like a mushy letter to my muse. I had wanted to edit that post today but gave up the idea as I remember you said leave the old post as it is and move on to the next post. At that point, I see the point in your reasoning from my perspective πŸ™‚

    Just awhile ago, the post on what makes me laugh was done though I would continue ponder the question some time or if my smiles are equivalent to laughter. I have a variety of smiles like your variety of laughs. Hop over as and when, if time is right, we would have tea and biscuits for you in the garden πŸ˜‰

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  2. Thank you – wonderful post! πŸ˜€

    I use humour a lot. I like to make silly comments so that people laugh. It just makes the day a little better, a little lighter. My M is hilarious and makes me laugh all the time – he’s very quick. When my friends and I get together and start talking about ageing – that’s a belly laugh! Some of the things we are experiencing are sooo funny.

    I really like The Good Place (I started watching it because I heard about it here πŸ™‚ ) and find it both funny and scary. Another show I like to watch is Just for Laughs Gags. Quite similar to Les Beaux Malaises. πŸ™‚

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    • Thank you, Lynette πŸ˜€ that was fun to do!

      A question like the one you asked really makes you stop and think about something which we do regularly but don’t necessarily think about. Last night I checked out an interesting article on why scientists think humans laugh. One theory is that laughter is similar to blushing, it’s a physical response which has been given a meaning and been adapted into a social behaviour. They theorised that we evolved the use of laughter as a way to cope with an increase in population, they think it was a way to participate in conversations involving too many people for everyone to talk.

      Thank you so much for the writing prompt!

      Like

  3. What makes me laugh? Most of the time it just pops out there, and I’m left thinking “Oh my! That WAS funny…” but, as happened today, sometimes something I think is funny goes over other people’s heads entirely. And then it’s uncomfortable because they look (and are) puzzled at why I’m laughing; and i feel foolish because nobody got my joke. So then one explains the joke, which (in my opinion) deflates the whole ‘it’s really funny’ feeling. Er. I laugh (privately) at physical humor (prat falls, pie in the face, some fat boy sitting on a plastic table and it crumbling under him, leaving him sitting abruptly on the ground)…I know I shouldn’t laugh, it’s not polite, but dang. It LOOKS funny (to me). The last belly laugh so hard that I had tears was probably many years ago and was at some comedy in a movie. I laughed that hard at “Young Frankenstein”, where Igor scares himself from seeing his reflection in the mirror. It still tickles me. So my short answer (too late) is “It depends.”

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    • That’s a great answer, Melanie, you managed to capture so many variations of what makes us laugh out loud and in private πŸ˜€

      I once walked into a lamppost because I wasn’t looking where I was going, and I reflexively apologised to the lampost. Once I realised what had happened I just stood in the street laughing out loud. Since no one had seen it, and since this was a long time before cell phones, the other people in the street just looked at me as though I was mental.

      I agree that explaining a joke ruins it, particularly if it’s a spontaneously funny moment. You either catch the humour as it happens or you missed it and it can’t be explained. It’s like a shooting star.

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  4. I am so glad to read I’m not the only one who finds themselves hilarious! I find getting road rage is hysterically funny – there I am, yelling abuse at people who are completely oblivious to my anger, and then suddenly I hear myself and I’m, ‘OMG, you’ve decided he should have his toes chopped off one by one with rusty scissors, just because he cut you up at a roundabout – lady, you are draconian!’ It’s impossible to stay angry at someone else when you see your own ridiculousness, so the rage immediately evaporates in a puff of smoke and I’m laughing at the rubbish I come out with when I’m wound up.

    Only last night, I was laughing at The Good Place until I was crying (the episode with ‘The Button’) – I like that sort of humour – nothing nasty about anyone. The whole ‘button’ scenario was so outlandish, and then ‘Attention!’ just finished me off!

    Observational humour – Peter Kay is brilliant, and so British.

    I think laughter is such a bonding thing – could that be its evolutionary driver? Very interesting subject – especially when so much of the difference between a smile and a grimace is in the eyes.

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    • The road rage story is a great πŸ™‚ Sometimes when I’ve done or said something embarrassing I get these moments when I want to kill all the witnesses… and then I crack up because it’s such an over the top ridiculous reaction. On a serious note those moments do help to give insight into those people who can’t take a step back from their inner drama and laugh at themselves.

      The Good Place is an excellent show. I like the fact that they keep me guessing, I have no idea what they’re going to do next with it. It’s one of those shows which uses humour to make some very deep points about perception of reality.

      Have you seen Jack Whithall’s Travels with my Father. The episodes with the doll… ROFL. His father stepped out of P.G. Wodehouse.

      Hmmm… I like the idea of laughter being a bonding thing. It definitely bonds, but it can also ostracise, sometimes simultaneously. I wonder when it became a part of social interaction. I shall have to do some online investigation πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oooh, I will look up Travels With my Father – sounds right up my street.

        I bet the ostracising thing is part of the evolutionary context too. That groups can bond against an ‘other’. So laughter is as much of a ‘tool’ as a knife – and like a knife can used for good or ill.

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  5. I laugh all the timeπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚. Humor (after intelligence) is one of my aphrodisiacs. I was blessed to marry a man who is a comedian (unofficially, he’s apprehensive to actually get on a stage; I tell him all the time he would kill, I’ll keep working on himπŸ˜‰). Our boys are little comedians too. Our dog as well( isn’t it funny how animals take on the personalities of their owner?). We laugh heartily in my home.

    Growing up, regardless of the madcap stress, we actually laughed alot then too, still do. My dad is a laughable, lovable guy. Mom would get her silly moments because he would bring it out of her; it couldn’t be helped.

    My humor is a little on the dark side. Some raunch I can appreciate( I don’t offend too easily). Observational is always funny. I try to find the funny in everyday.

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    • That’s wonderful πŸ˜€

      The more I hear about you hubby, kids, and now dog, and you all together, the more I have this picture of heaven on Earth! It’s so lovely and refreshing πŸ™‚

      Getting on stage as a comedian is a brutal experience, even the professionals are apprehensive about it. It’s like the moment you get on that stage as a comedian it becomes a Roman arena, the audience decides your fate, sends in lions and gladiators. What about doing it online, like a Youtube channel or a podcast. He could test the waters from the safety of home?

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  6. Hahaha I laugh at everything too. I turn things into jokes when i feel weird or uncomfortable. I like to make people laugh. Laughter and jokes get me out of my head! Omg I hate me so much. But also not at all, or maybe not enough? LOL it’s fucking ridiculous. Thinking is ridiculous. Because I can obfuscate fucking anything. Because thinking, feeling, sensing, knowing or understanding are not the same… they’re just abstractions. Sentimental semantics.
    So I guess black humour is my favourite. Make light of the dark. Twisty guzzlers and firebrick-a-brac plosms plop pollipolop. Onomatopoetica esoterica! Magical bim-bamboozka spells to fuck with people’s heads are also super dooper funny. Because they are nonsense words that may or may not have any meaning. But I like to hear what they mean to others? Because I can interpret them retrospectively, but in the present – when actively just making it up, randomly, they didn’t mean anything.

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