What is funny, what tickles your funny bone and gets you rolling with laughter, makes your sides ache with the pure joy of something funny? I know it’s different for everybody which is why you will find one thing so side splittingly painfully funny and your friend will give you a look that says, “this person is quite mad and I do not know what in the whole of creation he/she is laughing at!”.
I like a whole range of comedians and programmes but I usually go for the surreal and slightly daft! I love One Foot in the Grave because it’s absurd, a little slice of suburban reality skewed!
I always get funny looks especially at home when I’m reading and I suddenly start chuckling – I love Bill Bryson and many a time I’ve been sat reading and something has just tickled me so much I burst out laughing! Of course I do get funny looks if this happens on the bus or train as well but what can I do gag myself?
Apparently there is a difference in the funny bone that’s linked to nationality, so what is rip-roaring mirth to an American is utter drivel to a Brit and obscene to an Aussie. Well maybe but I think the old ‘missing irony’ thing with Americans is a myth otherwise there’d be no Family Guy or Simpsons.
Those US shows get through to a lot of people on different levels with the top layer of apparent vulgarity appealing to some and the underlying irony and pure mickey taking to others and, like all pioneers before them in any genre, they don’t always get it right.
I have to admit I did try to like the 80’s ‘Alternative’ comedians but, as revolutionary and barrier breaking as they were I didn’t find much of what comics like Alexi Sayle did funny. Sometimes it feels like the ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ with things like this but I did manage to get it on a simplistic level! I think! I do like Rowan Atkinson and some of the Comedy Strip stuff and I love Dawn French (I adore the unforgettable Vicar of Dibley)!
Alexi is quite an influential guy to me but mainly because he’s stuck to his ideals and though he may have mellowed, as many of us do, he doesn’t pander to public opinion.
I don’t suppose you could get much different: Alexi Sayle and Bill Bryson! My favourite writers in the comedy genre apart from Bill are Robert Rankin (not Ian), Tom Holt and the wonderful Douglas Adams. Again although I do get easily pulled towards the sci-fi and fantasy elements it is the weirdness and wit that I like! Isn’t life a bit like that… well maybe not!