Funny is where funny is at (#NaBloPoMo Day 19)

Wanna hear Darth Vader channel his inner Whitney Houston? The link to the audio clip is somewhere in this post (and the link is now fixed, apologies)!

Taking a slightly different cue from the Daily Prompt to talk about Funny, mainly because after work, family, home, and a conference over the past day, have no time to go to my NaBloPoMo plan. I know I can be offbeat, but if you’re expecting something truly funny in today’s post, you’ll have to be patient. Not because I don’t want to be funny, but because I have a hard time being funny if someone just asks me to be, at least in a witty way.

I can’t easily tell a joke because someone asks me to. I guess in the same way that I can’t just write a blog post just because it’s part of the NaBloPoMo daily challenge (which is what the Daily Prompt is for). There needs to be context. To me, memory depends a lot on connection and association between subjects, and somehow, “funny” doesn’t do it by itself.

I also don’t want to be funny just for the sake of being funny. Humor can be wonderfully insightful, even on disturbing subjects, in a way that sticks with you. That is what I’ve learned to appreciate with topical humor ever since I started paying attention to the daily editorial cartoons in the newspaper when I was little. A cartoon by the late great Roy Peterson of Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev standing on top of a nuclear warhead declaring “No more Nuclear Tests, we’ve perfected them” is still stuck in my head since I first saw it when I was under ten years old.

As much as I do follow the news, then, keeping up with the news satire shows – Rick Mercer and 22 Minutes in Canada, The Daily Show, Colbert Report, and John Oliver in the US – helps keep a smile on my face and the mind talking through what can sometimes be cringe-worthy topics. Stand up comics are good for that as well, as is CBC Radio’s the Debaters, a show that also provides further proof through this audio clip that context matters in humor, even its old fashioned radio setting.

The Debaters was also the source of that Darth Vader audio clip that I promised in a Father’s Day segment in which it was argued whether the Sith Lord was a good dad. The comic arguing favor of the resolution, Greg Morton, also does a terrific one minute summary of the original Star Wars trilog (click here if the embedded video doesn’t work).

So there you go. Give me some time to write a blog post, and eventually managed to hit a few notes of funny by the end.  I really did not know where this post would go when I started it, but spontaneity can also be a great source of comedy if you can tap into it.  Makes it almost sound like I’m wasting my time planning my pieces!

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