Humour Is Everywhere – If You Know Where to Look

Humour Is Everywhere – If You Know Where to Look

How’s your sense of humour? Try this for size… Do you find The Trump funny or laughable? Amusing or risible? And are you puzzled sometimes when people find things funny and you’re left scratching your head? Humour is often in the eye (and ear) of the beholder. In the UK, ‘Monty Python’ splits people into two camps. As does ‘The Office’. The late Bob Monkhouse was too ‘American’ for some. And Les Dawson too ‘northern’ for others. Is Billy Connolly too lewd for you? Or Laurel and Hardy just too silly? Comedy – particularly of the sarcastic, sardonic and cynical strain – is now bigger than ever in Britain. Once upon a time, it was slapstick, innocent, accessible. Nowadays, it’s darker and targeted, in a heat-seeking-missile kind of way. Whilst a common thread throughout the ages might be about cutting others down to size – to wit, ‘Blackadder’, Edwardian music hall or plays featuring some of Shakespeare’s more pompous characters – some would say that every subject is fair game as far as humour is concerned. Others would argue that today’s cynical brand of humour reflects our harsher, more selfish and divided society where identifying with the social mores of your own tribe is essential for making sense of society’s complex mess. One thing’s for sure: people laugh at wildly differing things. Some fall around watching ‘Jungle Book’. Others dissolve at the mere mention of ‘Fawlty Towers’. But is laughter all about humour, jokes and ‘Keystone Cops’ knockabout?    The Language of Laughter  Apparently, laughter is equally about sending social signals to those around us. It reinforces group values... Read more...