Too Old For Comedy

June 5th, 2007

I’m too old for comedy.

I don’t know when that happened.

I remember when I was really young, I used to laugh so hard I needed to pee (I never actually lost bladder control, though). When I got a little older, that stopped happening, but I don’t know if that’s because I laughed less hard, or my bladder got stronger.

After that came the years of laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe.

Then I retained the ability to breathe (probably a good thing), and instead just laughed so hard my eyes teared up. That seems to have ended sometime around high school.

Then it just became “laughed so hard my voice switched into the Revenge of the Nerds laugh”, which I’m damn glad was short lived.

Since then, it’s just been “laughed so hard I…uh…laughed”.

Recently, it’s basically just “chuckle”.

It’s not that I’m getting all gothy/angsty. I still find things amusing, I still smile a lot. But I don’t laugh the way I used to.

I think that’s part of growing older. Think about how often little kids laugh. Then think when the last time you heard a 60 year old fall on the floor from laughter. It just doesn’t happen. Comedy is based on, to some degree, the unexpected. That’s why things are less funny with time. The first few seasons of the Simpsons were hilarious when they came out, and not just because I was younger: my parents liked them, too. Rewatching them now, they aren’t nearly as funny, because the unexpectedness they used to have is no longer unexpected. Even if you find an episode you’ve never seen, the whole style of humour is one that is no longer unexpected. Same goes for Monty Python and the like.

So I guess the older you get, and the more exposed to different humour, the less unexpectedness there is, and the less you find things hilarious. Eventually you end up watching sitcoms, with a slight smile on your face, nary a peep escaping your lips, and then you tell everyone about how incredibly funny it was, out of pure habit.

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