Do you see the relationship between humor and time? It really is funny!

I was in the Arizona City coffee shop yesterday and picked up the Casa Grande paper called the Dispatch.  One of the headlines was “More Time to Kill?” and it was an article about the execution rate in Arizona which is one of the busiest in the nation.  I thought “well that would be a good subject for a blog but perhaps too heavy for a Friday.” So lets take a subject that is more fun and save the heavy stuff for next week.  By the way, next week Karen and I are driving back to Wisconsin by way of Texas so I may miss a blog or two depending on where we are staying.  I will have my laptop though and since most motels now have WiFi,  I really should have no excuse except for laziness. 
Time and humor seem to be related.  Have you ever noticed that a good comedian has an extraordinary sense of timing?  For a comedian to be funny, their timing has to be spot on.  A comedian has to sense the pulse of the audience as well as gauge the temper of the day.  For instance, jokes about 911 would probably not sound funny even today due to the seriousness of the tragedy.  However, comedians often joke about minor disasters and other failings when the time seems right.  Some comedians get away with telling racist and sexist jokes. They are able to sense the mood and nature of the audience. They also have an excellent sense of the Zeitgeist.  The Zeitgeist is a German word that roughly translates to “tempo of the times or the sign of the times.”  During the sixties, many of us took ourselves very seriously but today we can look back and joke about hippies, Woodstock, flower children and many of the quaint ideas we had back then.  Just look at how silly the dress and clothes look from back in the sixties. We thought we were so cool then and now we laugh at how clownish we all looked. 
If you watch the evening talk show hosts, they are masters at getting the timing just right with their audience. Even when they flub a joke, they are able to make an instant comeback.  Not only do they have to have excellent timing for their jokes but the selection of guests is very critical as well. All of us want to see guests who are current in the public mind for one reason or another. Perhaps they have an upcoming movie, divorce or some other noteworthy event. If they are not connected to any significant happenings, we are not likely to be as interested in them.  Being a celebrity has a great deal to do with timing as well as talent. Great celebrities are great marketers.
How do you deal with humor in your life? What in your life today can you laugh at that you might not have been able to years ago? What do you regard as so serious today that you do not ever thing you could laugh at?  What if you are wrong?  Is your life so serious that you cannot find anything humorous about it?  How could you add more humor to your life? How could you find a sense of better timing in your life to deal with humor? When was the last joke you told? 

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. bgalbreath
    Mar 17, 2012 @ 21:04:33

    I don't think there's anything about me that is, or should be, immune from ridicule. I laugh at how I used to be, and, if I live long enough, I'll laugh about the way I am now. As for the connection between time and humor, I don't think the word “timing” quite gets at it. It's more like “timeliness”. On the one hand, when people are in a mood to laugh, almost anything you say or any gesture you make will get them going. But, on the other hand, the heights of humor are reached by saying the exact right thing that the moment calls for. At times I've been amazed myself at what has just come out of my mouth, wondering “where did that come from?” The only case I can remember offhand was when I met the attractive daughter of a friend some years ago. On being told that she was a volunteer aide at a hospital, I spontaneously blurted out, “She doesn't take pulses, she gives them!” and everybody cracked up.



  2. Anonymous
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 05:00:43

    There are very few things in the life that are sooo serious that cannot be dealt with humor. I have noticed that truly intelligent people all have sense of humor and are able to laugh at themselves. That struck me first time by listening to an interview with Grace Hopper (creator of COBOL), and latter noticed in other smart people. Only mediocrities are pompous and full of self-importance and unable to incorporate lightness in their life. MiM



  3. John Persico
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 18:16:02

    This comment has been removed by the author.



  4. John Persico
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 18:17:13

    I once asked someone if they could recommend a book I could read to develop a better sense of humor. They thought the idea was funny and I agreed that reading a book on developing a sense of humor was almost a contradiction since as you note, humor is more sponstaneous and comes from the heart or soul rather than the brain. Although, I think many professional comedians do a lot of thinking about their humor. I agree that the ability to laugh at ourselves is critical to self-development and even our happiness. Maybe that is what is missing in evil people or evil doing, the ability to laugh at oneself? Maybe we all need to “lighten” up



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