Thursday, March 02, 2006

"Why is that one funny?"

My older son was an early and voracious reader. Around the age of four, he discovered Gary Larson’s Far Side books. Endless hours were spent with us flipping through them and him asking “why is that one funny?” Soon, he was asking that about everything we read that could possibly be construed as funny (or trying to be).

So jokes got explained, puns were broken down, visual counterpoints noted, word play discussed, comic pauses honored, and even knock-knock techniques debated and explored.

While it’s true, I suspect, that you “can’t teach funny,” it’s definitely true that technique can be honed. So I say, if you want to learn about comedy you have to analyze it. You have to break it down and study it.

And then you have to explain it to a four year-old.

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