A Laughing Matter!

It has been observed that most women rate ‘having a sense of humour’ as one of the most attractive qualities in men. After all, many studies have shown that getting a few laughs from the ladies goes a long way in the success of scoring with them so most men work really hard on learning a few tricks, more so when they are unequipped in other areas (like looks, bank balances and the works). Strangely though, I find an increasing number of women settling for men who couldn’t draw any laughs from women high on weed if they tried, let alone flooring a group of your friends over coffee. Of course humour gets sacrificed at the altar for more ‘desirable’ qualities of financial security, geographical proximity, or whatever leads people to tie-the-knot these days.

But it is quiet unfair I think, to put the onus of humour on men alone. After all if quick wit is a measure of intelligence/sharpness in some way, then nothing should stop the ladies from making a few jokes. With more and more women taking up the stage at stand-up comedy clubs, making un-lady like jokes sometimes (http://www.radvaz.com/), thus countering some of the arguments made by Christopher Hitchens in his Vanity
Fair article explaining why women aren’t funny. 

Hitchens argues that women lack incentive or motivation to work on their humour from an evolution stand-point – since women are attractive to men by default, there is no underlying reward for women to work that hard and brush up on the funny ones. But if this were completely true there wouldn’t be a Tina Fey and Amy Poehler for all the Ricky Gervais and Chandler Bings in popular culture. No Bridesmaids for every Hangover.  The ratios might be slightly gender biased if we get down to actual numbers, but my point is- being hilarious is an equally desirable quality in the fairer sex.

I say this because of various reasons, the most important of them being – how the hell will you laugh at his jokes if the sarcasm is lost on you? I have for the longest time believed that all of us apart form having an IQ and an EQ have something called a “humour quotient” and quiet often, we can only fully enjoy the company of our friends or partners when they fall around the same humour scale/genre as yourself. Otherwise, either they appear to be ridiculously dull or you will soon be ousted from bunch you have been hanging out with. Think about it, how many times have you been stuck with someone who got offended by something that sounded ridiculously funny in your head. Likewise, how many times have you labored a smile at somebody’s best joke, while remembering every lesson learnt in self-control? So whether you are a fan of the Deadpan British humor or slap-stick cracks you up, whether you speak sarcasm or amused by self-deprecating humour, you humor type/genre is integral in determining the longevity of your associations. Apparently, we are not only what we eat and wear, but also pretty much what we laugh at!

I realized this on a recent stand-up comedy act I attended when one of my friends spent a good part of the evening texting on this cell phone, unmoved by most of jokes , while some people in my adjacent seats could barely hold still. Clearly, there was a mismatch in the humour quotient in my aisle, leaving me thoroughly confused about the awkward social situation, but I trusted my own judgement and laughed at appropriate places. (I think)

So really, what fun would be a partnership, if you did not have the taste for the same kind of sitcoms (since a large part of marital life is spent watching TV or fighting for the remote), or if one of you hasn’t moved on from thinking Russell Peters is still funny. What if you are subjected to hours and hours of Arrested Development (Which I personally feel is over-rated) or Modern Family when you would rather be watching Office or Parks and Recreation? Watch different show you say? What fun is that when you can’t exchange notes later! (We still question each other on Friend’s trivia among friends!) Comedy unlike music can only be fun when shared, when you can slap someone’s thigh or occasionally ROFL while in company!

So next time on a date, throw a couple of your best ones upfront (unless they make fun of the other person, and the other person is a Desi guy with a huge ego or an uptight elite chick from Delhi). See if they really throw their head back and laugh or simply nod with pursed lips while thinking up an exit strategy.

So maybe Vir Das in Namaste London wasn’t totally ridiculous in suggesting a humour test for a compatibility match before making a commitment for life. (Link Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4SJB8S5EwQ)

P.S: While using defamatory humour in India, weigh your options carefully. Like G. Khambha says on his blog (http://www.gkhamba.com/) – taking offense is our national sport. Hence exercise sarcasm with caution.


One thought on “A Laughing Matter!”

  1. I think Humor comes naturally to those who know how to laugh at themselves and try to look at the funny side of life too and maybe a postitive attitude is required as well. My relationship with few friends are of the kind wherein we meet – laugh and get destressed. It’s interesting how time flies and all that we talk about is anything and everything and humor would come naturally to us. And with few folks I share serious discussion and may not look at postitive side of things and sound gloomy. Humor is also a function of equation people share. Life without humor turns dry. Even if someone doesnt have a sense of humor, interestingly there are self help bookas available too. Though no clue how it works as humor is a characteristic and can’t work like a SWITCH!!Good Post! 🙂


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