Being a Humorist, I should have done this long ago. It has taken me 416 entries to write a post on Humor. Humor is a term that makes everyone happy. Happiness is almost synonymous with Humor. Humor can induce sadness and irritation also, if it is not used in an appropriate manner. This post talks about the nuances in becoming a good Humorist.
What is Humor?
- Knowledge base
- Emotional balance
Knowledge base is nothing but the Cognitive experience of a person. The cognitive experience of a person is necessary to initiate the humor process. A good humorist should essentially have a broader knowledge base
Presentation is the execution component of humor. Even if a person has a very good percentage of the first two variables, but still lacks presentation skills, the humor form will not be effective. Hence presentation is the most important part of the humor process. Presentation is the only component where a physiological experience also takes place in addition to the psychological experience that takes place when the other two variables are in action.
(eg - A person who is going through a tough phase in life when he loses his girlfriend will be extremely sad when he experiences that emotion. But at a later point in life, the same emotion would make him laugh)
Humor is often the experience of renegaded nature of humans. We often have a forbidden happiness when we break the rules. Back in my college days, when ever I broke a hostel rule or a college rule, my friends and I would laugh at it. Talking aloud in the library also brought out humor in us.Humor is an enzyme that lives in every human being. Everyone uses it in different proportions. Everyone has it. But not everyone use it to the fullest. That differentiates the humorists from the rest.
What is meant by Sense of Humor?
As individuals we tend to experience humor by either "getting it" (which tends to be cognitive or intellectual response), by feeling it (which tends to be an emotional response), or by laughing at it (which is more of a physiological response). There is a wide range of life's experiences that are experienced as humorous. Like beauty being in the eyes of the beholder, humor is in the funny bone of the receiver of the experience - Dr. Steve
What are the different types of humor?
When I hear the word " Types" of humor, only two things come to my mind
- Me - Humor
- You - Humor
Sarcasm is a major component of You- Humor. Personally I feel that sarcasm is not at all humor. It makes people laugh. But if that is done at the cost of hurting someone Else's ego, then it is better to avoid satire (sarcasm) form of humor. Hurting humor is very different from hearting (healthy) humor. Very few have mastered the hearting humor art form.Let me give you some examples
- Stand up comedians like Robin Williams, Russel Peters, Carlos Mencia fall under the You-Humorists category. They make fun of others mainly through racist jokes or through foul language ( cheap humor). They indeed have a good fan base because of their effective use of the third component of humor -"Presentation"
- Comedians like Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat), Rowan Atkinson (Mr.Bean), Wilbur Sargunaraj fall under the Me- Humorist. They make fun of themselves and that requires guts.
The Tamil comedian Vadivel is an excellent user of the Me-Humor Type. He bashes himself in his movies. How ever the You-Humor exponent Vivek who was very popular in the early nineties soon found that he is losing ground against Vadivel and he too has started using Me-Humor in his latest movies (Padikadhavan).Gift of the gab is the best tool that can be used in both these types of humor. The Tamil actor Sandhaanam and anchor Sivakarthikeyan have this gift. If you want to improve your humor quotient, please watch "Whose line is it anyway"
When should I use humor?
- When another person uses humor with you. (Sensible humor)
- When the other person is comfortable with you.
- Situation is socially "appropriate. (Cracking a joke in a funeral will not be appropriate)
- Effective usage of Me-Humor with the incorporation of "Gift of the gab"
- When you use You-Humor , try to make fun of the situation and not the person
If I am humorous, won't people think that I am a Joker?
What is your opinion on Laughter Therapy?
About the Author
* CEO = Chief entertainment Officer
* CFO= Chief Fun Officer.