Saturday, 1 February 2014

The Laughs-a-Day Ratio

NixonThere’s something clearly wrong with my mental wiring. I’m not laughing at the right things.

Twice in 24 hours I’ve noticed myself clicking on links to things proclaimed ‘hilarious’ and my response to both examples of hilarity was to not laugh once.

The first example of hilarity was something on the front page of Flipboard on Android. It was a ‘hilarious’ article about cats in the same poses as male models. I’d find the exact link to the page but there’s enough of this cat crap out there that I’ll simply link to another of these depressingly popular memes.

The second thing was a link from Laughing Squid to a video of Conan O’Brian pawning off his old memorabilia. Again, I didn’t even break into a smile but that’s pretty typical of my response of Conan. I’ve always found him the least funny of the American late night hosts. He reminds me of Jack Whitehall, here in the UK: a rich kid who decided he wanted to be a comedian, without actually figuring out if he was actually funny (he isn't). Letterman I adore. Jon Stewart too is brilliant, though it can depend on his writers and The Daily Show’s newest are among some of the poorest, resorting to knob gags night upon night. I used to think Stephen Colbert the best of the lot but his mock-Republican act where he pretends to promote products is blurring too much with reality and he’s now actually promoting the products he pretended to be promoting, if that makes sense.

However, that is to digress...

I was talking about my not laughing at things. I’m sure this happens more often than I’ve previously noted but last night I did notice and I noted it. That got me to thinking about the things I have laughed at. In fact, I intend to keep a record of the next 24 hours and see if I do laugh as often as I think I laugh. Perhaps I don’t.  Perhaps my self-awareness is completely awry. I thought myself a person who laughs quite a bit, enjoys comedy, and has a generally comedic outlook on life. But perhaps that’s not actually me.

In the past 24 hours, the things I’ve laughed at included Sky One’s new Nixon drama, Nixon's The One, starring Harry Shearer at his sublime best. It's just the finest thing I’ve seen on TV in a very long time; existing in that zone of interesting, unique, clever, witty, intelligent programming I sorely miss.

I probably watched the Nixon show because earlier in the night I’d snorted a genuine amount of laughter when reading ‘He Was a Crook’, Hunter S. Thompson’s obituary to Nixon from my Modern Classic’s edition of ‘Fear and Loathing in Rolling Stone’.

A third good laugh came from Reddit where I spotted that somebody had linked to my Bieber post, describing it as: ‘there are so many things wrong with this article.’

Except for those three instances, the only other laugh I had was earlier in the evening when a friend had told me a funny story about their work day. I’m sure I laughed at other things but the rest of my day has already entered into the realm of the misremembered and hazy.

So, this is my mission for today. It’s now eight minutes past two in the afternoon. I’m going to see if I can keep a track of the times I genuinely laugh in the next 24 hours. I’m laughing already. I already know this is an experiment destined to fail.

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