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Mean isn’t Funny

Mean isn’t Funny

Reblogged from Words in High Def

“I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t laugh.”
― Maya Angelou

There are countless comedians who drop F-bombs throughout their set and draw vivid images of things you’d rather not be forced to think about. Some of them sell out wherever they tour. What does this say about supply and demand of entertainment and comedy?

Comedian Kathy Griffin perfectly exemplifies the use of mean-spiritedness as entertainment. She slams everyone in the most hateful way imaginable. And still her popularity grows.

Do you have friends who think it’s funny to say rude, unflattering things about people? Even if it’s a celebrity or politician at the butt of the joke, it just feels wrong. You don’t have to be acquainted with the target of their humor (someone from their office or family) to fight the urge to cringe, right? Mean isn’t funny. Awkward.

In stark contrast to the use of this method is Sinbad, a comedian who doesn’t disparage anyone, uses no profanity and yet audiences roar with laugher. We saw him at the Tempe Improv and he captivated the full house. It takes tremendous creativity and hard work to be funny without referring to sex, naked body parts, graphic toilet experiences or spewing hate-filled sentiments about others. When it’s accomplished successfully it brings not only laughter but joy and refreshment to your spirit.

Jim Gaffigan is top-shelf when it comes to humor-without-hate. He talks about his family, his kids…life. You get it! But you don’t feel ashamed or remorseful for being in on the joke.

Funny stuff, laughing and making others laugh, enhances your joy and satisfaction. There’s nothing that brings more contentment than wiping your eyes after a long, hearty bout of guffaws.

What do you think is funny or entertaining? Do you think it’s more challenging to provide entertainment while not tearing down others or using profanity? Maybe I’m wrong…let me know why or why not below.
Diane Markins

  • Candice

    I too find it sad that we find so much humor in mean-spiritedness. But it seems that people, especially those lacking self confidence, find comfort when negative attention is directed toward anyone but themselves.

  • Dawn Rutledge

    I, like you, do not like mean-spirited humor. Anything that bashes any person or group is offensive to me personally. What I do find funny is humor about real life situations, like parenting, marriage, differences between the sexes, work humor, etc. I find that making light of the challenges of our daily existence somehow makes it easier to deal with…like Bill Cosby so beautifully said!

  • Anonymous

    Anyone ever go to the Clean Comedy Club in Ahwatukee?

  • I love this so much! I am always telling me kids this and I actually read this to them today as part of our school lesson. If anyone at anytime could be hurt by something, it is NOT funny, unless it is something deliberately planned like for a roast and even then, there are lines that shouldn’t be crossed. I think it is true we have become so desensitized to things in our culture that we have lost our filter of what is real humor and what is not. Thank God for comedians out there who are keeping it clean–and real and making it truly funny. Those are the ones that will be remembered the most!