To Laugh or Not to Laugh

The other day I was watching a fine television program called Khloe and Lamar. During the episode, Lamar’s friend Jamie decides that he has what it takes to become and actor. Jamie shows how versatile he can be by demonstrating his Scarface impersonation and then his Robert De Niro impersonation. Is there no end to his talent?

On a radio show Jamie tells a really bad joke that he obviously heard somewhere else. It’s one thing if you steal a good joke, but when you steal a bad joke? Forgettaboutit. The radio hosts laugh a little too loudly and proceed to tell Jamie how funny he is. How many times do we do this? Tell someone they’re funny when they’re not. Laugh at someone’s joke to make them feel good. Are we doing it to because it’s what we’re supposed to do?

He's got a face for radio.

I’ve definitely found myself in situations where I say “That’s so funny!” but I’m not actually laughing. I think there was a How I Met Your Mother Episode about that once. No it was Scrubs. Definitely Scrubs. And the girl was played by Mandy Moore. She would only say “That’s so funny!” instead of actually laughing. Why is my mind filled up with this crap?

That looks like a fake laugh to me, Manders.

Sometimes, if I’m watching a funny movie by myself, I’ll just watch it without laughing. I can do that if I’m alone. When there are other people in the room, and they’re laughing, it makes me laugh more. But if I’m by myself, it takes a lot to make me laugh. Even if I find the movie hilarious, I can sit there, straight-faced like a zombie. Why is that? What’s wrong with me?

Has anyone’s laugh made you laugh more? I pretty much lose it when my brother laughs. He’s so tall, but whenever he laughs he like, giggles and makes the weirdest sounds. It’s so funny. I’m on a never-ending journey to make him laugh all the time.

How do you usually respond if someone isn’t funny, but they think they are? Do you encourage them? Do you give a pity laugh? How do you handle this weird situation?


21 thoughts on “To Laugh or Not to Laugh

  1. Okay, this is an amazing post!! Seriously, I’m glad you brought up the issue of laughter, funny and un. (yes, your brother’s laugh kills – so unexpected.)
    I find when I’m watching TV and no one is around, and it’s suppose to be a funny show, I sit there with a smile glued on my face. Sometimes I even mouth the words. I know I’m doing this because I catch myself and then I think I’m such a loser.
    I like when I think funny thoughts and I make myself laugh out loud. That’s my favorite because you look like you’re mental to anyone who happens to be around.

    • Haha really?! Glad you like it! I’m always happy when I get your stamp of approval!
      I’ve noticed you mouthing words even when I’m telling you something! It makes me laugh! I used to love making myself laugh in class. Because then it’s extra awkward when you’re laughing in a public place!
      Have you ever seen someone in public and you smile and say hi, and as your walking away you still have a weird, half-smile on your face? Hahah that happens to me all the time!

    • That’s a good way to judge things. That way you’re not influenced by the reactions of anyone else. Smart move, Addie, smart move.
      By the way, you can call me Lily instead of LiC because LiC is just gross.

      • Hah that’s normal. I made my name Lily on my avatar as to prevent LiC. I just read it like “lick” and it makes me grossed out!

  2. Marya says:

    A “theater friend” told me what to do when your actor friend’s performance was terrible and and not funny. When you get backstage (and you would obviously have a backstage pass), you look at the actor friend, point straight to them with your index finger saying, “You, you, you.”

    Practice it in front of the mirror before you try it on someone. It actually works. I’ve actually had to use the dirty, hurtful trick on occasion.

    Great post Lily. You certainly know how to “dig real deep.” (A line I use when my aim is to compliment deeply. A line I stole from Nicole Kidman, during an interview she had where she referenced her love, Keith Urban’s stint in alcohol re-hab. “We both just had to dig real deep,” said Sunday’s mom. Wait, is that her kid’s name? It’s some day-of-the-week.)

    • That’s really smart! I’ve gotta start “you, you, you”-ing more people! Comes in handy!
      I believe her name is Sunday Rose. So yes, bang on. Digging real deep is basically my job nowadays. I think of myself as a reporter. I’m really trying to get the hottest, on trend topics around. Glad it’s working!

  3. Yeah, I’m guilty of the pity laugh. but I try not to encourage unfunny behavior. Unless it’s unintentionally funny.
    Because that stuff is hilarious.

    • Unintentionally funny stuff is great. Self-deprecating humor is probably my favorite type, if I had to choose!
      But yeah, when a joke is unsuspected, it’s pretty great!

  4. When you’re watching a hilarious movie alone, it’s normal that you don’t laugh out loud. Try doing that with a group fo friends.

    ‘He’s got a face for radio’ is such a eufemistic way of telling the truth :).

  5. Eric Murtaugh says:

    How do I usually respond if someone isn’t funny, but they think they are? I just smack them in the face. Would that be considered rude?

  6. Laughter is contagious. If you’ve ever been to a comedy club, that’s why the tables are smaller than the cocktail napkins they provide you with. If you’re all jammed together it’s like you’re one person. One person laughs, the rest do to. Or so told a Jew to me.

    I fake laugh a lot. I don’t do it as much with my friend. He doesn’t do it as much with me anymore. I think we got annoyed of laughing at everything we said to each other. I doubt the radio man found the guy funny. They’re told to hype things up so much. Why do I feel like I have a wealth of knowledge on this topic?

    I think worse than over-laughing is under-laughing. I knew a guy who never LOL’ed at me online. That was annoying. I also laughed at the movie Dodgeball once because I felt bad. No one was around either.

    • That makes sense. I never thought about why the tables were so small. Laughter is contagious. It’s definitely weird when you feel like you have to laugh at everything someone says because they’re semi-funny and your friend. I also hate un-laughing! People need to show that they appreciate my humor. Dodgeball is one of those movies I would laugh at with people around but when I was alone I would just blankly stare at the screen.
      You do seem to have a wealth of knowledge on this topic. I would image that you would though. Being pretty funny and everything. Funny people usually like to laugh. I think it goes hand in hand.

  7. Pete Howorth says:

    If someone isn’t funny, they need to be told they aren’t funny. I just give them a weird look and then make sure there’s an extended silence so they know not to try anything like that again. There’s also nothing worse than someone laughing at their own jokes. They think they’re so funny they make themselves laugh.

    Laugh it up boyo, no one else is.

    • See, that’s what I think too. “Hey, you. You’re not funny. Stop talking.” If my gut response. Ughg I hate when other people laugh at their own jokes. But I love laughing at mine….hah maybe because I’m so funny?

      Laugh it up boyo!

  8. “The other day I was watching a fine television program called Khloe and Lamar.”
    How could you, Lily?
    Do you know what the Kardashians will do to your brain?

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