Monday, October 11, 2010

Five Kinds of Funny

Because I like to pretend that I am some sort of expert on things that are funny, I am presenting a list of what I believe to be the five different types of funny and examples of people, real and fictional, who reflect each type. I enlisted Amanda and our neighbor Andrew to help me out, as I don't have a mind of my own. (See #2.)

1) Oddball humor

An oddly funny person is that kid who says things that are so utterly ridiculous that you have no choice but to laugh. This differs from the unintentionally funny category because this person knows exactly what she or he is saying but couldn't care less if everyone around her/him think is confused/shocked. The perfect fictional example of this type would be Phoebe Buffay of Friends. In my life, this person would be my roommate Bianca, who is a bit of an attention whore and will do anything for a laugh. She excels in impersonations.

2) Dry humor

Dry humor, which is the sense of humor shared among me, Amanda and Andrew, is humor that is delivered in a stealth, deadpan manner. It is up to those around us to detect the joke and (hopefully) ultimately laugh. Amanda would define dry humor as "the best, the only way to live and the only way to laugh. Bitches." Andrew would define dry humor as "humor without humor" because it depends on whether or not others are smart enough to get the joke.

An example of dry/dark humor I just witnessed:

Amanda, after Andrew tells her that he has a problem: "Do you have HIV?"
Andrew's response: laughter.

3) Unintentional humor

Sometimes, people say things that are funny without realizing it because they are moderately dim/stupid. Unintentionally funny people are necessary, as they provide you with comic relief without giving you that feeling that they're looking down on you. My roommate Allison is the perfect example of the unintentionally funny individual. She may not realize how funny she is, but genuine people like her are necessary in order for there to be balance in society (and in my dorm room).

4) The Caricature

There's always that guy you can't describe. He's both intentionally and unintentionally funny. He's smart, but completely unaware of how bizarre he is. Andrew's roommate Erasmo is the perfect example of this type. As my roommate Bianca says, "You can't even believe that he's a real person." Just watching his facial expressions can make even one of high standards for funny burst out laughing. When I ask Erasmo how he would describe his humor, he says, "Sarcastic, negative and sometimes very positive. And rude. And rough." The fabulous way he just said "and rough" is what makes him this bizarre caricature.

5) The Joey Gladstone

This is the one who thinks he (let's face it; it's usually a he) is hysterical, but he actually just wants to make you want to eat your own teeth. He always goes for the obvious joke and the easy "that's what she said." He is also quite fond of doing poor impressions that really just depress you because you know it means he watches too many cartoons.