Tuesday, September 2, 2008

#10 - That pause while people are trying to digest really subtle humor

There are three kinds of comedians in the world: 1. Loud, obnoxious ones that try to be as crude as possible. 2. Loud boring ones that mostly make observations about the world that everyone has thought of at one time or another. 3. Quiet, unexpected ones that throw in snappy, sarcastic one-liners that you're not even sure you heard correctly for a second or two. I think I'm the third one, because I'm not that loud most of the time, and I really hate repeating myself. So it's really rewarding when I make a totally unexpected quip, and it takes a heartbeat or two to get a reaction from those nearby. It means the joke was complicated enough to take some thought. Elitist, if you will. Not everyone is going to laugh. Not everyone is even going to hear it. But when those within earshot start bursting out in laughter long after I've shut my mouth, like some sort of comedic time-bomb, everyone always wants to know ‘what’s so funny?’

I also take a very particular pleasure in not repeating my punch lines, because the timing and delivery is critical and I don't want to ruin the funny by butchering it the second time. Let someone else take the fall. If it doesn't come out as good second-hand, I can just say 'you had to be there' and make it seem even more elitist.

1 comment:

Seth said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this post.