I’ve always considered my funny bone a hard place to find. I’ve never laughed at the Three Stooges, Dumb and Dumber or Tommy Boy. I find most jokes built around bodily functions to be dysfunctional (Although I’m not a robot. Sometimes those things are pretty funny at the right time.). And I find crude language to be crude, not funny. I think Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson and several others’ strange monologue patter to be indicative of the need for stronger medication. Certainly not something for which I would be paying them exorbitant salaries. I’m not sure that I’ve ever laughed at SNL. I haven’t even given the time of day to supposed comedies like American Pie and the like (of which there are an astonishing amount) because I can’t. There are lines I have drawn for myself that are there out of self-preservation. I find most jokes lamentable, but do enjoy many stand-up comics — as long as they are intelligent and don’t go for the easy sexual or crass joke. And to my detractors, I would say, “No, I do not consider myself a stick in the mud or uptight.” My funny bone is just hard to find.
What I do find funny? Well, that’s just as easy. My favorite movie is the 80’s ensemble comedy Clue. My favorite comedy for live theater is Noises Off. Both shows have a fabulous sense of timing and the ridiculous. Farcical most certainly. Clue is all about the next body to be found. Noises Off is about the plate of sardines and timing of the opening and closing of doors. Neither try to teach you something of any significance. I also must admit to a fondness for the well-timed visual gags and pictures with witty sayings. I probably find the above picture so side-splitting because of the season of life in which I find myself. Our youngest will not accept any help at meal times unless the fork or spoon is whooshing or whirring or some such thing.
I do enjoy a certain type of slapstick. I love Wipeout and America’s Funniest Home Videos — two of my five year old’s favorite shows. We watch them together religiously. In considering all things slapstick, our oldest will perform a prat fall over and over and over again. Why the persistence? Because his little brother will belly laugh every time. He has one of those laughs. You can’t help but at least smile, or perhaps join in the hilarity. We were at a department store recently, and my oldest kept jumping out of the clothes that I was pushing the cart past. The youngest squealed and laughed every time. It makes for a good combination. I wonder if his funny bone will be as hard to find as mine as he becomes older?