Critical Question – What makes a joke funny?

Critical Question – What makes a joke funny?

According to the Oxford Dictionary, the definition of Funny is “Causing laughter or amusement”

A joke might be funny for you but not funny for me. What I mean by that is that if I was to say, “I bet the butcher that he couldn’t reach the beef on the top shelf and he said that the steaks were too high” to you, you would laugh, yet if I say it to somebody else they might not find it funny, so what I mean is that everyone has their own sense of humour and they might think a jokes funny and I would not.

We found out that there are many different types of comedy; these include One Line Comedy, Story Comedy, Slapstick Comedy and a few others that I have forgotten. I believe that Slapstick Comedy was more on sounds and those things according to the video we watched. One line Comedy is literally one line comedy and Story comedy is comedy played out in a story according to Wikipedia. A joke can be played out in many different ways and can sometimes involve no words like what The Nelson Twins showed us when they did a Comedy Workshop with us.

Now to get to the actual question at hand… I believe that a joke must be said by someone who can say it correctly and in a voice that is related to the question. It should have a good punch line and an interesting question, for example “Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the other side” is not a very amazing joke; at least to me it’s not. Some people may find it really funny, but I don’t. Some people find lame jokes funny and some people find Knock Knock jokes funny. It depends on their sense of humour.

As we found out when we went on trail it is quite hard to make certain people laugh. I did make one person laugh, though I think it was a forced laugh since I don’t exactly think “What do you call a cow that eats grass? A lawn-Mooer” an amazing joke. Still it was very nice to see someone laugh when Milla started to dance randomly and I think he did the best job at making someone laugh. Jokes are hard to do because of the audience you are saying them to. If I was to tell an immature joke to an old woman, I don’t really think she would laugh now would she. The same goes for if I told a serious joke to a young person, they wouldn’t laugh either

Sometimes I think I have a really bad sense of humour and other times I think I have a really good one.  I really like lame jokes like “A man walked into a bar, Ouch” because for me they are really funny and stupid, it makes me laugh a lot and that’s a good thing. Yet a joke such as “Knock Knock, Who’s there? Boo, Boo Who? Stop crying” Isn’t funny to me. That is just the way I am. To me story telling stand-up comedy is probably the best type of comedy because it engages you and makes you want to pay attention, though those are just my thought. I guess that is just the way I am.


Oxford Dictionary


One thought on “Critical Question – What makes a joke funny?

  1. Week 7 – Critical Question Assessment


    Hi Sam,

    You have made a very good point in terms of humour being subjective, and as such – the question of what makes a joke funny is also subjective – dependent on the individual who delivers it and the person on the receiving end.

    I appreciate your use of evidence drawn from your experience both on trail and in the comedy workshop, along with additional research. Next time – I encourage you to go beyond wikipedia; I know that it contains a huge amount of information, however, it might be interesting for you to seek out some of the source material and interpret it on your own.

    I have to say – I would have laughed out-loud at the cow joke – it made me giggle as I read it 🙂

    Sam, you make a huge effort to consider both sides of every argument – which is fantastic. My only reflection is – I want you to end your responses with more confidence in your opinion! Your closing sentence suggested that you could be easily swayed from your opinion, or, that it wasn’t as valid because it was only your perspective. If you have written a well constructed piece of work that is supported by evidence, you should feel confident about your stance.

    Well done,


    Coherence of argument: level 1 of 1
    Use of evidence: level 2 of 2
    Further Research: level 1 of 1
    Multiple Perspectives: level 1.5 of 2
    Critical Thinking: level .5 of 1
    Expression & language use: level 1 of 1

    These levels refer to the

    Assessment Rubric.

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