Monday, January 7, 2013

We don't ALL have to be funny, ALL of the time

Why does everything have to be 'funny' these days? The thing is, I know I'm a victim of this. It's not enough to watch, read or think of something that's clever, or interesting, or something else. It's easy to watch something funny. But why does everyone want to be funny?

There are lots of people who are funny. There are tons of writers - Stephen Merchant, Tina Fey, Jenny Colgan, My cousin Daisy Buchanan, and other people who aren't writers but are just funny, like my weird but astute sister who picks up on the minutiae of people, amongst others. But they're funny, objectively. I can be funny. I'm a bit funny. Not all of the time, but I can recognise when I'm not (usually through my toughest critic, my cruel-but-fair aforementioned sister). But I appreciate funny. 

I understand that there are different types of funny, and levels. But I guess that there is kind of a canon of what is clever funny, and silly funny, and obviously funny. But I guess anything could be funny to someone. Being funny on purpose is a completely different kettle of fish. I blame Caitlin Moran. She's funny. I have her book. It's funny. She's funny on Twitter (the volume of her tweets is too much, but hey, she's a writer. She's got a lot of deadlines to avoid). But she's got a very imitable style (the exclamations. The ALL CAPS BECAUSE IT'S FUNNIER IN CAPS. The quirkiness). But it's not that imitable, because you can't copy funny word for word, can you? It just ends up being a half-arsed homage to someone else, which isn't quite enough. It's got all the components of something funny... except that it's er... not that funny.

Another tricky one to get right is observational humour. Just because you notice something that happens, it doesn't actually mean it's funny. Like those 'inspirational' quotes on Facebook. 'Men are like [inanimate object] because [derogatory comment about men]'. Or 'The awkward moment when [something most likely not awkward happens. Do you know what awkward is? I think it's lost all meaning]. Or going for the standup approach, 'Have you ever noticed [something that happens, phrased in a politely amusing way]? And don't even get me started on Miranda (yes, she has her place, and she's nice, and gentle, but I still want to give her a very hard stare when she falls off a chair on purpose). 

It's not that I want to be mean for the sake of it - people shouldn't hide their light under a bushel - but my point is, we all have different talents. Everyone doesn't have to be funny, all the time. Sometimes, it's nice to be interesting, or... anything. And why are we all (and I include myself in this) still hate-watching comedies that we hate, just so we can be mean about them on Twitter and get a cheap laugh? 


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...