One of the common questions funny people get asked is, “How does the lint get into my belly button?”
This is a fair question. I’m not a doctor, but I believe it has something to do with our daily intake of fiber.
The most common question funny people get asked is, “How did you get to be so funny?”
In his classic standup routine, Steve Martin responded by saying that he puts a piece of bologna in each shoe. That way, he always “feels funny.”
There are, however, more practical ways of finding humor that require no abuse of lunchmeat or change in your fiber intake. Yet, you may wonder what value humor has beyond the immediate benefit of a laugh or two. That’s an excellent wonder.
For years, we’ve all heard about the health benefits of humor and laughter. But, honestly, I think you might get the same results by eating more apples and whole grains. Psychologically, however, there are tremendous benefits from humor. I’d like to focus on one — the way it affects our perspective.
Seeing and appreciating the humor in our world allows us to understand the juxtapositions that are all around us. Watch any comedian and you’ll see someone who paid attention to the things we all experience. It’s not some kind of magical thinking; it’s just attending to everything that comes our way.
My brother recently sent me a photograph of a sign he saw near the front door of a restaurant. It read, “All Deliveries in Rear.”
Of course, we know what that sign means, but the grammatical implication is a bit more uncomfortable…and funny! That’s how we should routinely look at our environment — with a different perspective that challenges the norm and sees incongruities that lead to new insights. Not only does this make our lives more entertaining, but richer as well.
If you’re one of those people who isn’t sure where to find the humor in your life, or just have trouble seeing it, perhaps I can offer some help. The following are a few places where you might find a regular dose of humor. By exposing yourself to others’ humor, you’ll become more aware of the humor in your own life. Remember, the more you see, the more you’ll see.
Google Alerts — The internet has dramatically changed the world of humor. Now, jokes, comedy routines, television shows, etc. can be easily found online. This is good news for anyone who wants to enjoy humor. One way of bringing the humor into your day is to set up a Google Alert for the type of humor you want. Simply login to Google and set up alerts by choosing the appropriate keywords. Examples of keywords to find humor could be, “clean jokes” or “funny cat videos.” Every day, you’ll receive an email with links to articles, videos and websites based on your keywords. You may have to sort through some garbage to find the gems — but it’s worth it.
Twitter — You can follow funny people and get a quick dose of humor every time they post something on Twitter. Recently, Jimmy Fallon posted this: “Thank you meat delivery trucks in Manhattan for driving a steak through the heart of the city.” Not only is this funny, it’s a beautifully crafted joke.
Media Sites — USA Today newspaper has two wonderful humor resources on their website. On the Opinions page, they show daily clips from the late-night comedians. Additionally, they feature popular political cartoons. The Washington Post has a regular humor competition called The Style Invitational. Readers submit brilliant pieces of humor based on the theme for that week.
Websites — There are many funny websites today and most are free. For instance, Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is a great video site where Seinfeld interviews different funny people in a relaxed setting over lunch or coffee. Also, you can find lots of hilarious content at Funny or Die, a video site that combines user generated material with its own exclusive material. Remember to bookmark your favorite sites so you can return easily.
Television and Movies — With Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and other video subscription services, you can view movies and television at your leisure. This is a great way to watch funny shows and get your daily dose of humor. Some of my favorite shows are Modern Family, Big Bang Theory, and 30 Rock.
Books — Finally, don’t forget the value of funny books. Authors like Dave Barry, Bill Bryson, and Anne Lamott are brilliant writers who are also hilarious. Their books are accessible and often contain stand-alone chapters that don’t require reading the entire book in one sitting.
Humor is more than a punchline. It trains your brain to see the incongruities in our world thus forcing you to see a new perspective. And that’s not just fun or funny, it’s healthy…and requires no fiber.