What is Funny?

Today I would like to tackle the question: what makes funny?

The answer is pretty simple actually: if it bends, it’s funny; if it breaks, that’s not funny.

I think the problem comes in that things bend and break at different points for different people. For example, I watched South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut last night, and I firmly believe that to be a funny movie. And that’s not just cause of the incessant cursing. I have seen a couple of other Matt Stone and Trey Parker projects and have not found them quite as humorous as South Park is in general. I think that’s because it’s a solid mix of poking fun at current events/politics with one truly gross-out or patently offensive to everyone bit thrown in for good measure. That plus the fact that there is absolutely nothing sacred to them really puts it all over the top. I don’t mean to say that everything they do is comic gold, some of the stuff definitely falls flat, but on the whole they do a great job, and the movie itself absolutely worked.

Actually, the movie is still funny today, 10 years later, which is a testament to the intelligence of Parker & Stone as the movie was quite topical. Saddam Hussein is still in the news, as are discussions of sex/violence/language influencing our children too much. Of course, problems in the Middle East and concern over the media having too much influence on our children are pretty solid choices for topical issues that will remain in the forefront of public consciousness for a long time to come.

The only sad thing about the movie is that the DVD does not contain as an extra Robin Williams’s brilliant rendition of the song at the Academy Awards (not that it deserved to win, just that it’s truly fantastic).

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