Humor. No -Seriously, Folks.

I love humor. It’s my favorite genre.

Photo by Vlada Karpovich on (I could find stock photos of people laughing, but chose this one…)

Contrary to what some might think, I’m not drawn to this topic because I’m a happy person. I come from a foundation of depression. I need levity, literally.

And, contrary to my counselor’s concerns, I do NOT laugh inappropriately. I’m very secure in my odd sense of humor -one not defined as ‘odd’ by other wry sorts (you know who you are).

On that note, I grew excited when my friend, John, wrote several pieces about humor for The Story Empire Blog. His latest, on funny books, really made me think:

  1. These posts on humor are not that funny (he admits AI wrote it).
  2. What is funny, really, and how could I write in a way that’s funnier?
  3. Lists of three things look more official.

So… first. Not only is the post (sorry, John) not that funny; this post that you’re reading scores very low on the laugh index. It needs a little something -or, a lot something. My favorite writers are those able to write informatively but also in an engaging (preferably entertaining) way.

Take a serious article I read recently, about misguided online advertisers. The author outlines trends, cites evidence, includes examples, and sprinkles us with random phrases to maintain interest. My favorite quote:

However, the truth is that while the emperor that is native advertising might not be naked, he’s almost certainly only wearing a thong.

What You Think You Know About the Web Is Wrong,” Tony Haile, Time Magazine

This leads us, less funnily, to my second point: what is the definition of humor. What is funny?

Kevin, my husband, has told me that humor is the unexpected. We laugh when reading a common phrase that ends with an uncommon word. We quote the clever parody. We share comics portraying everyday situations in a different light.


Common with uncommon:

“We finish each other’s sandwiches.”


The song is a parody; the video parodies the original music video as well, besides parodying other elements.

Absurd Comics:

©Gary Larson. I still see these shared, today.

After actually reading (boring) stuff online, I’ve learned we can split humor into at least nine types: slapstick, self-deprecating, improvisational, surreal, wordplay (wit), topical, observational, bodily, and dark. While I am familiar with many of these, I see the core element to be that unexpected surprise.

I mean, when’s the last time you laughed because the thermoregulatory hypothesis shows that an increase in the size of winglets aids in body temperature elevation by absorbing solar radiation to increase body temperature more quickly. Warming occurs in pockets of air beneath winglets, increasing temperatures of leg muscles, enabling winged insects to forage longer and further, and increasing response rates to aid in escape from predators. It is likely that these advantages also led to increased dispersal of the species. Basking in the sun is a common means of thermoregulation for winged insects. Butterflies and moths, which are broad winged insects, are believed to have arisen during the Triassic period from the Stonefly (Douglas, 1989).*

Am I right? What do you think about humor?


Look! It’s last week’s stuff:
Friday, March 24: Friday Photo. Aren’t I cute?

Sunday, March 26: Shared a quote by Morgan Richard Olivier.

Monday, March 27: Mormon Monday: Listen to General Conference, tomorrow and Sunday!

Tuesday, March 28th-ish: Responded to Carrot Ranch‘s prompt. I couldn’t not, since reading The Giver and Gathering Blue

Wednesday, March 29th-ish: This post.


©2023 Chel Owens

*Okay; I lifted that from “The Life Cycle of Moths and Butterflies,” by Mary Walter. Bet you didn’t expect that.

23 thoughts on “Humor. No -Seriously, Folks.

      1. No, I just don’t understand your motivation. Those posts were not intended to be humorous so to be called out as not humorous seemed unnecessary. Maybe it was a slow day for you on the blogging front. I will say you would never get that kind of post from me.


        1. Oh, John. I did apologize. I know they weren’t meant to be humorous. I found it funny that a post on humor was not meant to be humorous. I think you’re an excellent writer and respect you and appreciate you.


  1. You know, ages ago, a friend dragged me to a movie that she was aching to see. It was her 30th birthday, so we went to eat, and that movie. I was so struck with hilarity that I laughed through the entire film. NO ONE else in the place was laughing. Ideally, it was not a topic others would consider amusing. (deep sigh) What can I say..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think humor is an incredible human gift. It can break tension in awkward moments. It can make people laugh. It can be a way to connect socially. I am always caught off guard when I find people who have little appreciation for it. Since I see the absurdity of life so clearly, I can understand that some people are offended at what I might laugh at it. But we are not all that different. We just have different ways of expressing our reactions.

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  3. Well done, Chel. I added a few options to Howell’s list but I will mention them here for you, too.
    Firstly, A Confederacy of Dunces and Hitchhiker are spot on. I would also add The Stench of Honolulu by Jack Handey, The Woody Allen trilogy of books, Getting Even, Side Effects and Without Feathers, which are, in my humble opinion, the three funniest books ever written. Finally, there is the granddaddy of all books, Huckleberry Finn, which first inspired me to search out other humor writers like Robert Benchley, and Allen …

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Laughter sounds throughout the day in our home and with our kids and their families. I’ve noted that our pets do their share of promoting the good humor and emotional health.

    As for myself, I am not inclined to write humorously. Like my experiments with poetry, it’s very much a “side-genre.”

    On the other hand, I like to include occasional “humorous” observations in even the most serious articles.

    But what really inspires me is the art of satire. If only there was sufficient time to pursue it…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your posts are exactly that.

      Jim Borden, another blogger, wrote about Onion-type satirical articles. He and I thought to each try our hand at one. Alas, that’s still a goal for me as well.


  5. Humor is part of my daily life. One of the ways my wife and I work is we laugh every day. It’s the best stress reducer. Of course, what may seem funny to us may not seem funny to others—no different than why one person likes a particular type of food or music over another. My favorite type of humor is the type that occurs organically rather than listening to a stand-up comic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds idyllic, and what you need in life.

      Yes, I rarely like stand-up comedians. Then again, I haven’t been to a live show before and the videos are of them playing to their current audience.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. For me it all started when I wrote funny columns for my college paper. I was hooked. For decades since, I have debated between whether I should have run off to New York or LA to try to become a comedy writer or if I would have been better off having never caught the writing bug because I didn’t want to run off and leave everyone. I lean toward the latter.

    Don’t eat peeps.

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