I'm just not funny
You know, I've always wanted to be funny. Part of me wants nothing more than to do stand up-- just once! To make people laugh so hard that their drinks come out their noses, that they piss their pants, that they fall out of their chairs laughing, holding their bellies, rubbing their faces to clear the tears.
I have always wanted that. Just once. I've done enough speaking in public, that while I get really nervous, and my voice gets higher and a bit wavery, I figure I could do it.
But I'm not funny.
That's not to say that I have no sense of humour... I have met people who have no sense of humour, and they're usually pretty dour people. Not because they're mean, or cruel, or anything, but because they just don't see the reason to laugh at whatever has you falling about.
I find lots of things to be very, very funny!
But those tend not to be the things that stand-up audiences like.
For instance, I can't tell a joke about people passing gas-- from what I know that's a huge freaking genre of jokes! Seems like most jokes are about bodily functions. I know that many people find these topics absolutely hilarious-- as can be evidenced when you walk through a grocery store and occasionally make a farting sound with your shoes by little old ladies... they'll barely be able to keep the snickers off their tongues. If your unsuspecting recipient is a guy from 13 to about, oh probably death, then he'll probably die laughing, snickering and snorting. The only ones who won't laugh are the self-righteous soccer moms, or people like me who puzzle at the laughs, and shrug. I just don't get it, I think. My beloved partner, however, will laugh until he bawls! Just tears pouring down his face as he giggles like a maniac at the entire genre... I remember him losing all composure when we watched a comic do this whole “air-plane in the cubical” fart joke*.
The comedian was hilarious, and I laughed quite a bit, until that short part. I just sat there, and could feel my left eyebrow creeping up and my eye twitching-- that's the face I make when everyone's laughing, except me, and I'm really not understanding this shit!
I can't tell jokes about shit, either. Or vomit. Mostly because they aren't really funny. Although, I have explained what food poisoning is like-- honestly-- and only used the words, “shitting” and “puking” and “For Fucking Ever!” But if you've ever had it, it's not funny... even though you remember holding that toilet bowl, hugging it as your heaves your guts out, closing your eyes, so you don't see your small intestines pile up, and wishing that the Angel of Death would hurry the fuck up and just “Fucking Kill Me Already!!!”
But I can't make it funny. Nothing that most audiences would laugh at, I just can't make it funny.
American humour, I just don't get it....seems to have a terminal lack of sarcasm, really.
Now, I think that Monty Python's Flying Circus is probably close to the pinnacle of humour.
Yeah, I said it. I prefer British comedy. It's awesome, and it's funny, and clever, and wonderful. I love clever wordplay-- not puns though, I fucking hate those.
I've always had what is considered to be a “dry” sense of humour-- I'm also terrifically sarcastic, as though you didn't know that already. If you do a quick Google for it, the basic definition is “deadpan” or a “form of comic delivery in which humour is presented without emotion or body language.” When I do say something silly, I often quirk my eyebrow, and look out the corner of my eyes... it's about what is said, as opposed to how it's said. That's why the Pythons slay me... no one else on earth could say, “this is an Ex-Parrot**!” with quite the tone of John Cleese. At least, I think so.
And as much as I love clever word play, I just don't seem to be able to make it funny on demand; that shit sneaks up on me.
I love political humour, too. Current events some times hold the best comedic value, especially lately with the chorus of rape apologists singing about “legitimate” rape, and harmonising over “no abortion ever” while the bass section chimes in with “Down with Plan B!!” I'd like to conduct that choir just once... but they'd be NSFW, or safe for anyone actually. I'd make them practice orgasm noises. “Oh, Oh, Oh, MMMMMMMM!!”
And well, in 2008, we did have Sarah Palin running for Veep... that was like platinum and star dust for the professionals. I wait the day that she comes out as a liberal, feminist, LGBT ally and says, “This past so-many years has been performance art! I do caricatures. Thank you, thank you!” as she bows, and gets rid of that hideous bump-it in her hair to throw to the audience of adoring fans.
I can talk about the silly things Pagans do, too. Religion can be pretty funny. And I've been known to channel church ladies, complete with Mississippi accent and “bless your hearts” liberally sprinkled in, talking about my upbringing. The absurdity can be fun, and those church ladies have no idea how stereotypical they really are.
I do suppose, occasionally, I can be funny. And I do have good comedic timing, and can tell a joke, I just can't write them. I suppose for the pros, they write themselves, but my ink-pen rants and ponders, it doesn't laugh.
I do have good deadpan delivery, though. So I suppose, if I could just figure out how to write the stuff, I'd be set.
I figure I could dress up in a suit, and maybe a hat-- as I do love hats-- and while fiddling with my Tigger ™ tie***, I could play straight-man and talk about the various funny things I had prepared.; I could probably do an entire set on the abstinence-only sex-education here in Tucson. That shit really does write itself!
But it's OK that I'm not funny on purpose, at will. It's OK with me, if I crack-wise on the occasion, and never actually do a stand up set. Maybe what I need is someone to write it for me? I dunno.
I can write horror, analysis, erotica and even good poetry (amongst other stuff)... but I can't write comedy, ironic isn't it?
I suppose until I can get that ten or fifteen minute 'open-mic' show written, or find someone to write it for me, I'll occasionally be clever, and amuse my friends. When they laugh, because sometimes they don't get it... Sometimes my sarcastic, dry style defeats my attempts at cleverness.
Oh, I like satire, too...
* His name is Stephen Byrne, and he's fucking hilarious. It was from The Byrne Identity show, you can get it on Netflix, disk and streaming.
** You can see it in its entirety here, on YouTube
***Yes, I actually have a Tigger tie, and yes, I wear it, I fucking love neckties!