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Old 02-06-2006   #1
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Topic Winner What Makes You Laugh?

Well. We've certainly had dark topics here. I've had enough preferred deaths and grimmest horrors to tide me over for a while. I think it's time that we lighten up a bit. I'm curious about what makes you laugh. I mean tears in the eyes laughter, laughter that hurts your gut, laughter that is redemptive and therapeutic.

For me, gallows humor has always been the most rewarding type of humor. The darker it is, the better it is. And funnier. What can one say when we're all condemned?

Not much in literature has made me laugh. I give big nods, though, to Joseph Heller, Kurt Vonnegut, and Charles Willeford for the wry grin on my face.

Things that really make me laugh are films. An idiosyncratic list follows (in no order of preference, except Dr. Strangelove):

Dr. Strangelove
The Producers
The Party
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Monty Python's The Meaning of Life
The Dentist


There are more, but I tire of typing. These films have never failed to amuse me.

What makes you laugh?

"What does it mean to be alive except to court disaster and suffering at every moment?"

Tibet: Carnivals?
Ligotti: Ceremonies for initiating children into the cult of the sinister.
Tibet: Gas stations?
Ligotti: Nothing to say about gas stations as such, although I've always responded to the smell of gasoline as if it were a kind of perfume.

Last edited by G. S. Carnivals; 10-26-2012 at 10:00 PM.. Reason: Spacing.
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Old 02-06-2006   #2
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Re: What Makes You Laugh?

These folks used to make me laugh:

Phillis Diller
Dame Edna (really a man named Barry, no relation to me though)
Carol Burnet

Oh, my. I'm really showing my age. Good topic, G.S.

Barry

My story NOWHERE TO GO was published by PS PUBLISHING in a book titled POSTSCRIPTS #14 in England in 2008. Let me know if you've read it. If you'd like to contact me, send me a Private Message.
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Old 02-06-2006   #3
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Re: What Makes You Laugh?

Movies: Dr. Strangelove, Monty Python movies (especially Life of Brian), Woody Allen, Caddyshack, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, A Fish Called Wanda, Albert Brooks, Rushmore, Bill Murray, Christopher Guest mockumentaries, Arthur, Bottle Rocket, Steven Wright concerts

TV - Dr Katz, Beavis and Butthead, Seinfeld, Mystery Science Theatre 3000

Books: Franz Kafka (especially Amerika), Joseph Heller, Mark Twain, Voltaire, Jonathan Swift, Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, Saki, Evelyn Waugh, H.L. Mencken, Kurt Vonnegut, Anthony Burgess, Waiting for Godot, Punch and Judy

Cartoons: Calvin and Hobbes, The Far Side, Herman, Gahan Wilson, Playboy cartoons
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Old 02-07-2006   #4
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Beavis & Butt-Head!!!!!!

Seinfeld reruns.

"Think of it [Mr. Veech] -- wood waking up."
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Old 02-07-2006   #5
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I'm not going to do this in any organized manner/fashion. here we go...

Office Space
Anchorman
beavis & Butthead
Seinfeld
Family Guy
Christopher Guest
The Big lebowski
dark humor in general
things hitting people in the face unexpectedly
dry humor
lewis Black (at least he used to)
douglas adams
my friends

that's all I can think of

there is no stronger drug than reality

yog-sothoth
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Old 02-07-2006   #6
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Re: What Makes You Laugh?

Thanks, friends, for your responses. My memory's been jogged. You've made me turn that frown upside down.

A few films that must be mentioned which did not immediately spring to mind: Little Murders, Putney Swope, and Lolita (1962). Thanks to bendk for reminding me about Woody Allen (Take the Money and Run, Zelig, and What's Up, Tiger Lily?), the mockumentaries (This Is Spinal Tap, Best in Show, and A Mighty Wind), and the generally ludicrous and irreverant (Beavis and Butt-Head Do America.) Many films offer scenes that are unforgettably funny. I single out Eddie Murphy singing "Roxanne" near the beginning of 48 HRS. Gut-busting!

In American television, I cite "I Love Lucy," "The Carol Burnett Show," "Barney Miller," "Taxi," and "Seinfeld." "Green Acres" remains a silly delight. British television gave us "Monty Python's Flying Circus," some of the most innovative and daring comedy ever attempted.

Among animated fare, my favorite is actually the soundtrack: the voice of Porky Pig as rendered by the great Mel Blanc absolutely does me in.

That's All Folks,
Phil

"What does it mean to be alive except to court disaster and suffering at every moment?"

Tibet: Carnivals?
Ligotti: Ceremonies for initiating children into the cult of the sinister.
Tibet: Gas stations?
Ligotti: Nothing to say about gas stations as such, although I've always responded to the smell of gasoline as if it were a kind of perfume.
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Old 02-08-2006   #7
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Re: What Makes You Laugh?

I keep finding myself thinking that I don't find comedy as funny as I used to but I'll make a list anyway.

Authors:
Douglas Adams
Joe R Lansdale

Comics writers:
Garth Ennis

TV:
The Simpsons
The Office (Original UK version. Not seen US version.)
Only Fools and Horses
Frasier
Futurama
Blackadder
Porridge
Firefly
Buffy
Angel
Drop the Dead Donkey
Have I Got News For You

Films:
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
A Fish Called Wanda
When Harry Met Sally
North By NorthWest

Stand-up comics:
Eddie Izzard
Bill Hicks

Newspaper strips:
Peanuts (I think my paper is reprinting the early ones at the moment as the art is cruder and the jokes are funnier.)
Calvin and Hobbes

Ugh. I know there's other stuff but my brain's shut down.

The Mask Behind the Face, Pendragon Press 2005
Shards of Dreams, Double Dragon eBooks 2004
Spare Parts, Rainfall Books 2003

Stuart Young\''s blog: http://stuartyoungwriter.blogspot.co.uk/
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Old 02-09-2006   #8
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Re: What Makes You Laugh?

For the comics:

For something cruel and clever, Edward Gorey. For something funny but philosophical, Bill Watterson. For the absurd and well-read, Gary Larson.

"And into his dreams he fell...and forever."
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Old 02-09-2006   #9
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Re: What Makes You Laugh?

What makes me laugh?

Practical jokes....specifically ones that involve scaring people. There's nothing as funny as seeing someone in full blown hysterics of fear (for example, some people hop from one leg to the other like they are walking on hot coals), seeing the bizarre look of panic on someone's contorted face, or witnessing them instinctively take flight (when they are not in actual danger of course).
One of my favorites was one I pulled about 10 years ago. My father owned a store, and one night he stayed after hours in his office to do bookwork. He was alone in the dark store well past closing time. I snuck in as I had a key to the store. While inside I was thinking to myself, "If I was in my father's position, what would really scare me?" I decided rather than sneak up and go "BOO!", it would be much more terrifying if he suddenly saw someone run past the office door a few feet from where he sat (in a silent, dark store that should be empty). So I crept up near the door and then ran past. It produced the desired response. It took him about 10 mins to fully calm down, and about twice that for me to stop laughing. Good thing my father has a strong heart! He tries to get me back occasionally with mixed success. Good 'Ol dad.

"Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough." Mark Twain
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Old 02-11-2006   #10
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Re: What Makes You Laugh?

Too many things to think of, but here's a partial list:

The Producers (1968 not the remake)
Most other Mel Brooks movies as well
Kung Fu Hustle
Benny Hill
Marx Brothers
Monty Python
Stephen Frey
Lolita (the novel)
Arrested Development
David Lynch movies (also scare the crap out of me too)
17th Century British drama

I know I'll think of other things as well.
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