What is the key to good comedy writing

Humor: Humorous people are more intelligent

Would you consider yourself humorous describe? Anyone who answers “yes” now sounds rather vain; whoever says “no way” proves it humor - and the ability not to take yourself so seriously. An important skill that is not only fun, but also personable. Humor is a social lubricant. Even more: According to a study at the University of New Mexico, humor is a veritable sign of high intelligence. But what is humor anyway and what is considered funny? Everything you should know about humor ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Definition: what is humor anyway?

In short: Opinions differ. There are very different types of humor: gallows humor, black humor or dry humor, for example. For some, irony, ridicule and cynicism are already humor, for others it takes above all a fine spirit and a good dose of serenity to cheerfully meet the absurdities of the world and people. For Sigmund Freud, for example, humor was a "basic mental attitude that recognizes human inadequacies in life's grievances and laughingly forgives them". And still others find it very simple: Humor is when you laugh anyway (The quote is attributed to the writer Otto Julius Bierbaum, by the way).

There is also one difference between "being weird" and "humor":

  • Comic carries the cheerfulness outwards - by telling a joke, a saying or a funny anecdote.
  • humor on the other hand no audience needs it, it is a basic attitude towards life. It can also turn inward by not taking yourself and the circumstances so seriously.
  • satire again is humor that has lost patience.

Most agree on at least one point: the sense of humor connects and has the ability to make other people laugh or to find some funny aspect even in problematic situations. In order to humor can even help resolve conflicts - without having to be incredibly funny. At most, it makes us smile a little. You could also say: Humor is the art of not taking yourself and your problems so seriously. That is why he gives humorous people tremendous ones size: You are apparently above things.

Types of humor: what's funny?

Humor is when you laugh anyway. However, it is very different and individual when people actually laugh. What one person finds incredibly funny may not match the other's humor at all. So it cannot be said in general what is actually funny.

However, there is consensus that it is different types of humor can give. Not everyone may find these funny, but they show what can be funny and what makes humor:

  • Situation comedy

    You don't always have to tell a joke or say something funny. Sometimes the situation alone is so strange that you could laugh out loud. Situation comedy is when something funny, strange or sometimes embarrassing happens to someone. Schadenfreude therefore also counts in this area.

  • Humor through words

    Pun is an art in itself, but when used correctly, this form of humor makes almost everyone laugh. Popular variants of puns are, for example, funny ambiguities whose true meaning is not immediately apparent or similarities of different terms that are humorously combined.

  • Exaggerations

    Too much should not be exaggerated, but exaggerating certain properties can be very funny. Especially when clichés are exaggerated or obvious character traits are carried out extremely, this is always good for a laugh.

  • Contradictions

    A popular tool in humor are contradictions, unexpected twists and turns, and surprises. It breaks with the typical expectations for a fun effect. It is usually steered in one direction in order to be able to set the punch line as a contradiction.

  • Black humor

    Especially funny for some, but inappropriate for others. Black humor deals with difficult topics in a humorous way - including death, serious illness and tragic events. While on the one hand it is laughed at, it can just as often be discussed whether black humor is really funny or tasteless.

Humor is an indication of intelligence

When people are cheerful together and Humor comes into play, this usually expresses approval and sociability (it can, however, also be used pointedly to contradict and aggression). Regardless of the motive behind it, the research trio wanted to find out more about people with a sense of humor.

So the scientists experimented with around 400 subjectswho had to pass all sorts of cognitive, verbal and classic intelligence tests, but also had to prove humor.

Result: Humor turned out to be a strong indicator of high intelligence. Those who were able to make jokes with comedy situations or play on words also scored significantly better in the intelligence tests.

Especially black humor is - according to a study by Ulrike Willinger from the University of Vienna - a veritable indicator of verbal and social intelligence.

Or to put it another way: During the IQ on average of the population (and test persons) is between 90 and 110 points, the particularly humorous got a value between 126 and 138 points.

On top of that, the humor made the male test subjects especially immediate more attractive for the women. “Women use humor as a strong selection criterion for their sexual partners,” says Gil Greengross.

Humor example: the frequent flyer joke

Two men sit on a plane en route from Los Angeles to New York. After an hour of flight time, the captain reports: A turbine has given up the ghost, but there is no need to panic. Even with three engines remaining, you would arrive safely, only the flight time would be extended to seven hours.

After a while the pilot reports again: Another nozzle has failed, don't panic, but the flight now takes ten hours.

Even later: The third nozzle is also on strike. However, the plane can land in New York with a turbine - in 18 hours. "Damn it," says one passenger to the other, "I hope the last nozzle doesn't fail too, otherwise we'll stay up here forever."

Humor: an interpersonal quality

The result also coincides with other studies - for example by William E. Hauck and John W. Thomas from Bucknell University. You could also find that humor is strong with intelligence, but also with creativity correlated.

As early as 1977, the psychologists Robert M. Kaplan and Gregory C. Pascoe found that people are more likely to adhere to the Content of a speech remember if this was flavored with humor. Researchers at the University of Michigan, in turn, examined over 1,000 ads in 1986 and came to the conclusion: Humorous advertising is reminded more often than normal in 17 percent of cases.

In a study on the subject of termination in 1985, scientists even found that only 15 percent of employees fired for incompetence had been. The others had lost their jobs because they couldn't get along with their colleagues and had poor communication skills. The HR managers who were later questioned considered humor to be essential Putty for teams.

Especially in the Interpersonal Humor develops tremendous power. Humor…

  • de-escalated
  • relaxed
  • can weaken criticism
  • solves mental blocks
  • finds a common wave

Humor even increases memory - in others. No joke! Humorous people get better reminded and recommended. That, in turn, has shown research by Christopher Robert, a management professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

And as if that weren't enough, studies by Alice Isen, a professor of psychology at Cornell University in New York, have shown that humorous colleagues more popular and popular and are often better rated and promoted more often by their superiors. The majority scored in the end higher income.

Quotes, sayings and aphorisms on humor

There is, of course, another way of approaching the subject, by looking at what others have said about this virtue and quality. So here are a few more Humor quotes, sayings and aphorisms

Joke is foam on the surface, humor the pearl from the depths.

At the point where the fun ends, the humor begins.

The hidden source of humor is not joy but sorrow.

Humor is the umbrella of the wise.

Humor is the button that prevents you from bursting your collar.

Real humor never uses its strength against the defenseless.

Humor is the medicine that costs the least and is the safest way to help.

German humor is when you still don't laugh.

Humor is the oil in our lamp of life.

Humor is common sense that dances.

The moralist complains that people are not what they should be, the humorist is happy that people are not what they say they are.

Albert Einstein:

Whether the dog is crossing the street or moving down the street under the dog is a matter of relative perspective.

Charles Darwin:

Dogs have evolved over millions of years to the point that today they are genetically capable of crossing streets.

Niccolò Machiavelli:

The point is that the dog crossed the street. Who cares why? It is the result of crossing the street that shows the motive behind it.

Karl Marx:

It was historically inevitable.

Martin Luther King:

I dream of a world where all dogs are free enough to cross all streets without their motives ever being questioned.

Sigmund Freud:

The fact that you are concerned that the dog has crossed the street tells me of a suppressed sexual desire.

James T. Kirk:

To go where no dog has been before.

Social pedagogue:

He crossed the street so that he could understand both sides better.


Did he damage your street?

Management consultant:

The liberalization of the old side of the street has seriously attacked the dog's dominant market position. The dog saw itself affected by these significant challenges and then consulted us to develop key skills that would enable it to survive in the emerging competition. Our analyzes have shown for our client that it would be wise to first rethink the previous distribution strategy and implement new sales processes. With the use of our dog allocation support system organization chart (HASSO) we were able to show the dog how he can use new technologies, methods and skills as well as a management program to integrate a completely new business model beyond the previous side of the street.

Humor connects and lifts the mood

Just think of a party, a congress ... People stand together, chat, small talk. Then someone tells an amusing anecdote, a nice story or uses situation comedy - the effect is the same: The person immediately exudes something positive - and connects to the others.

Humor is like humus: both are fruitful.

The psychologist William Ruch, for example, is considered one of the leading Humor researcher and has been researching the Relationship between character traits and joke preferences.

He found:

  • who Nonsense gags preferred, is more creative and adventurous, but also a bit eccentric to chaotic.
  • Logic jokes lover however, are mostly conscientious and reliable, but unfortunately also a bit intolerant to dogmatic.

Whether you follow these stereotypes or not: It is significant what and how you tell something. It reveals your own communicative strengths, whether you being able to captivate, inspire and motivate others. And last but not least, whether you marginalize or rather associate with your humor. The self-deprecating quote comes from the burlesque dancer Josephine Baker: “I wasn't really naked. I just didn't have any clothes on. " That's humor!

In the subtext, humor always reveals how important you are to yourself when, for example, you are about laugh at yourself or make fun of your own weaknesses, not those of others ...

Attention humor: economics explained in a simple and funny way

Party political economic programs are about as exciting as the Trondheim bus schedule. Although this is not a law of nature, it is empirical evidence. It is quite different and even amusing - if you can Economics explained in a humorous way. And actually, then nothing is more exciting than economics ...

Beware of humor: economics from a political perspective

  • Christian Democrat You have two cows. Your neighbor doesn't own any. You keep one and give the other to your poor neighbor. After that, you regret it.
  • Social democrat You have two cows. Your neighbor doesn't own any. You feel guilty because you are doing well. You elect people into government who will tax your cows. That forces you to sell a cow in order to be able to pay the taxes. The people you voted for will take that money, buy a cow and give it to your neighbor. You feel righteous. Udo Lindenberg sings for you.
  • Free Democrat You have two cows. Your neighbor doesn't own any. So what?
  • Greener You have two cows. This is your sausage, you are vegan. They demonstrate for organic farming.
  • EU parliamentarians You have two cows. The EU takes both of you, kills one, milks the other, pays you compensation from the sales of the milk and then pours it into the North Sea.
  • capitalist You have two cows. They sell one and buy a bull to raise a herd.
  • Communist You have two cows. Your neighbor doesn't own any. The government confiscates both cows and sells them the milk. You stand in line for the milk for hours. She's mad.
  • socialist You have two cows. Your neighbor doesn't own any. The government takes one from you and gives it to your neighbor. You will be forced to start a cooperative to help your neighbor with their livestock.

Attention humor: economy of the regions

  • German company You have two cows. Using the latest genetic engineering, the animals are redesigned until they are all blond, drink a lot of beer, give milk of the highest quality and can run 160 km / h. Unfortunately, the cows demand 13 weeks vacation a year.
  • British company You have two cows. Both are insane.
  • French company You have two cows. They're on strike because you want three cows. They go to lunch. Life is Beautiful.
  • Italian company You have two cows, but you don't know where they are. While you are looking for your cows, you will see a beautiful woman. You're taking a lunch break. Life is Beautiful.
  • Japanese company You have two cows. Using the most modern genetic engineering, you can ensure that the animals are reduced to a tenth of their original size and give twenty times as much milk. Now you create a clever cow game console, name the cow kimon and market it worldwide.
  • US companies You have two cows. They sell one and lease it back. You are setting up a stock corporation. They force the two cows to give four times as much milk. They are surprised when one of them falls dead. You are issuing a press release stating that you have cut your costs by 50 percent. Your stocks go up.

What other readers have read

[Photo credit: Doppelganger4 by Shutterstock.com]

★★★★★ Rating: 4.94 / 5 - 6191 reviews.
November 27, 2020Author: Jochen Mai

Jochen Mai is the founder and editor-in-chief of the career bible. The author of several books lectures at the TH Köln and is a sought-after keynote speaker, coach and consultant.

Continue to the home page