Have you ever met a comedy vortex? You must know them. They’re the people who can make any situation seem unfunny and who can drain the humour from any anecdote.
One of my friends had one of these people on his Facebook account. My friend has a crisp British sense of humour laced with a dark edge and would often post funny comments on his wall. Other friends would be poised to respond with a quip only to find that the said comedy cul-de-sac man had made a comment so banal and obvious that it negated the original comedy comment and rendered it impotent. He did the decent thing in the end (blocked the fool, of course).
The worse thing for me is the people who introduce you as being riotously funny. E.g.: “You’ve got to meet C. He’s so funny. He’ll really make you laugh. He’s got just your sense of humour.”
This is usually followed by me saying something like: “Hi, there. So...how do you know Adam? Have you tried those nice cheesy tartlets?” No one can live up to a build up. It’s like being shouted at harshly and ordered to perform sexually in front of a crowd. Being funny has to have an element of spontaneity and the mood has to be right. Can I also point out that I have never been shouted at harshly and ordered to perform sexually in front of a crowd, yet. I’m just surmising.
The other one is: “Go on. Tell them that story about the nun and the hamster. We howled at that one.” I generally find I’m suddenly less than amused by my own once mildly sardonic anecdote of two months ago. I’ve suddenly moved on and am forced to perform like a seal with a beach ball. I generally stumble over the tale and drop the ball. I didn’t want to balance the ball tonight. I was in the mood to slap my flippers rhythmically and catch fish.
The worst comedy vortexes for me are the practical jokers and the innuendo merchants. I wither a little inside at this sort of stuff. It was done brilliantly by the Carry On actors. The key word there is the verb: done. It’s not actually that funny. Slapstick makes me wince and clowns are the stuff of Stephen King induced nightmares. Mime artists are just painful and frustrating. Just drop the rope. It doesn’t exist and even if it did why are you pulling on it? O.K., there’s an imaginary wall. Should I care? Practical jokes and physical comedy tend to harbour the intention of making the recipient look like a total moron. I’m not up for that but thanks anyway.
I’ve met many people over the years who thrive on innuendo and it also drives me crazy. I like to play little games in my head. Games such as drop the specified word in the conversation (such as Smorgasbord or Glockenspiel) or using a bad word in an innocuous context where it isn’t noticed e.g. “You cunt be serious?”, “See you next Tuesday!” or “You fuck off-ee or for tea?” We all do that when we’re bored, right?
The innuendo people make me engage in a game where no double entendre words are used at all, thus depriving them of their simple pleasure and adding to mine. For example a male chicken is referred to as a cockerel, the famous TV chef is Miss Craddock and never Fanny and a finished cigarette is never a fag, butt or nub end but is called a finished cigarette. One doesn't go camping but uses a tent outdoors. Elizabeth the Second is never called the old Queen. Simple but pleasing. I advocate this game for all. Hours of harmless fun and no one gets hurt or loses an eye.
I know we all have different senses of humour and things appeal to different people. I just like what I like and my terrible dead pan expression may give clues away as to what that is. I don’t hide things well. You’ll definitely know about it. I don't dislike people for their differing senses of humour, so don't take offence. I accept we're all different. Just move away from the comedy handshake, please. Fnah, fnah.