This is the email that was just sent out to Chicago Now bloggers who expressed an interest in this monthly exercise:
“Welcome to ChicagoNow’s Blogapalooz-Hour! Your challenge, if you choose to accept it, is to publish a post in one hour. Here is tonight’s challenge: Write about and describe your sense of humor. (How has it evolved over your lifetime? Is it mainstream? Who and what do you find funny? Who and what do you NOT find funny?)”
That is a really creative and thought-provoking question. The topics we receive to write about can be so diverse and unexpected. They take us in a million different directions to stretch our writing muscles. That’s what makes it fun. So here we go…
The first thing I would say is my humor is “seasoned,” meaning it’s coming from a person who has been around for a minute (40+ years), who has seen some things and who has lived to tell about them. Given that the other main aspect of my humor involves optimism and positivity, you can deduce that those “things I’ve seen”
(some good, some bad) have brought me to a place where I’m feeling pretty good about what has been and what is to come. Life is good.
I’m very certain that my humor is much more self-assured than it was when I was younger. I would like to say that when I was younger I didn’t have the self-confidence to verbalize the funny stuff that would pop into my head in real time, but that’s not entirely true. Back then I was so unaccustomed to engaging in rapid-fire tests of wit that funny stuff didn’t even pop into my head until hours after the exchange was over. I guess my mind didn’t bother to formulate the thoughts because it knew my mouth wouldn’t say them in a thousand years. Slowly over time that problem has gone away. The comebacks, replies and one-liners materialize a lot faster these days because they know they will have an outlet.
I try to balance the confidence to say what I think with the tactfulness and sensitivity to be mindful of the impact on the listener. So I’m not the “full steam ahead to get a laugh”-type. I don’t mind saying something that I think will bring a chuckle, but I believe my “filters” are firmly in place. I like smart humor and I hope mine is thought-provoking, too.
I would like to think that I’m turned off by mean-spirited humor. This is mostly true and it’s something that I’ve told myself over a long period of time. It wasn’t until just now when I had to reflect on it long enough to form the previous sentence that I realize this is not always the case.
For example, the first time I heard a certain public figure being referred to as “The Malignant Mango“ based on an acerbic personality and an orangish hue I almost fell out of my chair. While some other Chicago Now readers might also find the deeply satisfying comedy behind this phrase, I know the subject of delightful alliteration would NOT be amused given his tendency to he such a thin-skinned, “I-only-dish-it-but-I-can’t-take-it” bully. Add to this example the hypnotic hilarity that Melissa McCarthy doing Sean Spicer on SNL will elicit from me every time I see it–even up to today…. So I guess I should say I don’t like mean-spirited humor UNLESS IT’S DIRECTED AT SOMEONE WHO REALLY EARNED IT.
My time is up.
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