The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Are some people naturally funny?  (Read 7467 times)

Ng Jing Kiat

  • Guest
Are some people naturally funny?
« on: 19/01/2011 23:30:03 »
Ng Jing Kiat asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Hi there Naked Scientists, I've got a question for you.  

Why are some people born with real funny humour? Is it natural, or is it trained?

Thanks and keep up the great work!
What do you think?
« Last Edit: 19/01/2011 23:30:03 by _system »


 

Offline Don_1

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6890
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • A stupid comment for every occasion.
    • View Profile
    • Knight Light Haulage
Are some people naturally funny?
« Reply #1 on: 20/01/2011 12:11:57 »
I fear you may have come to the wrong place to ask this question, since most of us here tend more to the pathetic than the humorous. Some do tend to the humerus though and some to the Hummus.

A good joke can be spoilt by a bad comedian and a bad joke can be made funny by a good comedian. Its a matter of style and timing.

To my mind, one of the all time greatest comedians was Tommy Cooper. He knew he looked odd, mostly due to his rather large and lumbering stature and was a lousy magician. He took full advantage of these facts and turned them into an infectious comedy style. His magic, stories and one liners were so daft you couldn't help laughing at him. more here.

Tommy appears to have been born with comic features and had the good sense to make the most of this and his talent.

Another great comic was Spike Milligan. Like a number of other great comics, Spike was troubled by his sanity. A manic depressive, he admitted himself into hospital on a number of occasions.

Among other great comics with out-of-the-ordinary characteristics and/or mental health issues, I could name Tony Hancock (another manic depressive) and Kenneth Williams (unsure of his sexuality he remained celebate).

Just what you can read into this, I am not sure. Whether the conditions gave rise to the comedy or vice versa might be difficult to establish.
 

Offline graham.d

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2208
    • View Profile
Are some people naturally funny?
« Reply #2 on: 20/01/2011 12:49:37 »
Nature or nurture? I think it is more often both these in the peple who are great in any field, not just comedy. To add to what Don said, a critical knack is in the timing of what they say when delivering their material. It is why, as Don says, a good comedian can tell a bad joke and get laughs where a good joke told badly does not work. Tommy Cooper is a fine example of bad jokes told well.

There are some comedians who are not necessarily "stand-up" artists of course. Comedy comes in many forms. I think all the comments so far are primarily about Stand-up comedians who tell jokes to a live audience. There are other blends of talents that can be used to good effect. Watch Bill Bailey on stage with his clever musical works and ad lib humour or the talented and quick witted use of words by David Mitchell or even off-the-wall weirdness of Emo Philips. Going back to stand-up there are famous US comedians of the past like Bob Hope and Jack Benny and, more recently, Woody Allen and Bill Murray who, in their own styles, could work an audience beautifully.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Are some people naturally funny?
« Reply #2 on: 20/01/2011 12:49:37 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums