Tag Archives: Culture

Why Is That Funny?

Disclaimer: This post is undoubtedly condescending. I apologize for that.

I continue to find myself completely out of touch with pop culture.  It’s not something I really feel bad about, but in my own judgmental way, I wonder what is wrong with people.  Nowhere does this happen more than with movies.

I recently went to see The Hangover, and while I expected not to love it, I thought it would be good for a couple laughs.  After all, the populace in general seems to love it, and it was done by the same director who did Old School, which I found to be quite funny (well, the first and last acts, at least. The second act drags).  More importantly, though, is that the critics tended to like it, as it scores a 73 on metacritic.com.

However, watching this movie baffled me.  I wasn’t exactly baffled that people found it funny, what I found baffling is why people found it funny.  The movie was made up of old jokes from a bunch of other movies of the same genre.  If you’ve seen the joke before, especially if you’ve seen it hundreds of times before, how is it still funny?  But there are other things that I just don’t understand why people think is funny:

  • A man wears a jock strap instead of underwear.  Why is that funny?
  • A wedding band sings inappropriate things, a joke done in a bunch of other films, but also in Old School!  Why is that funny?
  • An old man gets a check up.  We see his ass.  Why is that funny?
  • People get hit, kicked, slapped, punched, and tasered over and over again.  Nothing more to the “joke” than that.  Why is that funny?
  • While transporting a drugged tiger, the tiger wakes up behind them and destroys classic car.  In Tommy Boy, same thing except it was a supposedly dead dear.  It wakes up and destroys a classic car.  So they repeated the same joke.  Why is that funny?
  • Mike Tyson shows up to recover his tiger, and… and… well, there wasn’t any joke there other than Mike Tyson showed up.  Why is that funny?

Of course, to some extent, I do understand why people find some of these things funny.  Male nudity is apparently this generation’s man-in-a-dress.  So whatever the context, people will for whatever reason find it funny.  But why?  That’s where they lose me.

People also like to watch things that they’re familiar with.  So watching a joke play out that they’ve seen before makes it fairly easy for people to comprehend and find amusing.  After all, there was an audience for Wild Hogs.

And always, from well before vaudeville, people find it amusing when characters are physically hurt.

Put all these together and you have the explanation for why people find these things funny, and why people love The Hangover.  The unfortunate problem is that every one of these explanations begs the question.  Why are these things funny?

Cheers,
Charlie

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Chuck E. Cheese Band Plays Usher

It’s so silly it’s great:

Hilarious.  More info at The Detroit News.

Cheers,
Charlie

Absurd Gadgets: Molting Mutant Muppets

Have you ever wanted some privacy while using your computer?  Have you ever been in a public space where anyone can look over your shoulder and steal your idea for the next brilliant blog post?  But most importantly, have you ever been using your computer and had the nagging feeling that, while you enjoy using your computer, it would be so much better if you could look like a molting mutant Muppet while doing so?  Well, now here’s your chance:

(Found via Gadgettes)

These aren’t made to be sold, but are rather for some sort of artistic vision.  As the creator’s Flickr page describes: “They’re supposed to be a fun commentary on how attached and concentrated on technology we are, and to highlight the lack of movement that happens when we’re engrossed in our laptops, keyboards, PDAs, etc.”  I’m not sure exactly what that commentary is.  I just can’t wait for them to make one for the iPhone.  That way, I’ll be spared from seeing people using their iPhones for the purpose of showing other people that they have iPhones.

That, and we need more Molting Mutant Muppets walking around.

Cheers,
Charlie