Not everyone is good at jokes. Unfortunately, it’s always the least funny people who are angry if you don’t laugh. How best to diffuse the situation? Editors Jennifer Wright and Ashley Cardiff discuss.
Jennifer: So, I hesitated on whether to make this “how to tell men they aren’t funny” or how to tell an ambiguous “someone” (by someone, I meant people with ladybits) that they are not funny. And I think, in my experience, this is more something I feel a need to do with men because women aren’t really expected to be terribly funny. With so many articles about how “women aren’t funny!” it seems remarkable if a woman is funny at all. However, it seems that having to assure men that they are funny is like having to assure women that they are beautiful, except much more irritating because it is harder to lie.
Ashley: Wow. There’s really a lot to parse there. Let’s set women being funny aside because the whole morass of expectations and society and comedy being an infamous boy’s club and oh my god Christopher Hitchens. That is a black hole and this debate will just devolve into us screaming at each other and pratfalling urgently. I don’t have near enough banana peels for that. So, let’s talk about men who aren’t funny. Why don’t you begin?
Jennifer: Well, look, I’ve known a few men who I’ve thought were genuinely gut-burstingly hilarious. I’ve also known some who have pleasant, normal sense of humor. And I’ve known some that really aren’t terribly funny – to my mind! The problem is that every single one of these men thinks that he is gut burstingly hilarious. And I have a very hard time faking laughter.
Ashley: Oh man, things are about to get real normative.