Jokes on me


BJ wants some material for the upcoming film fest. The upcoming gay and lesbian film fest.

The jokes we share in private are not necessarily the ones we share in public. And although I may be considered occasionally funny or mildly amusing, I don’t tell jokes.

Mostly because I forget the setup. And the punchline.
comedy mask

If you can make me laugh, consider me impressed. I hate a lot of standup, and anyone who tries to be funny usually isn’t.

But most people are naturally funny — just not in the traditional “A guy walks into a bar” funny. The quietest person in the room can often bring the biggest laugh, because it comes out of nowhere.

I don’t laugh out loud, as a rule. That doesn’t always mean it ain’t funny, or that I’m having a bad time. But I’ve been desensitized to stale humor.

The last time I cried from laughing so hard was Thanksgiving. Adam was telling a story of male bonding, involving him and his bandmates “tapping” each other in the crotch. The tapper would immediately announce “Peace out, bitch” as a defense against swift reprisal.

The contest escalated when band outsiders caught on to the game and not so much tapped as full-on punched. Adam and his bandmates had to walk with nether regions protected with hands at all times.

Oh my God, it was hysterical. I had never heard Adam tell the story, and I wish I could re-tell it with a fraction of the raucousness.

My funny stories are long and require rapt attention and limited interruptions. They’re absurd, with a touch of embellishment.

Most of my wisecracks are second nature, requiring little thought, and almost always self-deprecating. Take your work seriously, but never yourself.

Among folks, I prefer not to do jokes at the expense of others (unless I know them really well). Which is sad: I have a true gift for the cutting remark, the cheap shot outta nowhere. Beware my vicious tongue.

(That’s not to say I won’t mention it behind your back. I may be cowardly, but I’m still unusually cruel.)

When people try to be funny, they often fail miserably. Comedy should be natural, not some scripted setup-punchline setup-punchline.

I am offended by certain types of humor. Not content, per se, because nothing’s off limits. I’m offended by cheap laughs and truly unfunny efforts. Anyone can tell a dick joke, big deal.

And I’m offended when people, even friends, think they know me well enough to do a joke involving me, my race, my gender, whatever. Usually, it’s clumsy and not funny. It presumes I’m OK with your “enlightened therefore it’s OK” stance. I’m not.

I don’t care if you think I’m funny, either. I think I’m funny, and I make me laugh. Good enough.

BJ and I are running out of time. We’ll bounce material off each other, and maybe he can pull off a good zinger or two.

Otherwise, it’s the L word.



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