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HUMOUR AND RIDICULE

1010. Serenity requires an element of obliviousness; those who are uniquely aware may be anguished -- both from their perception and from the isolation which it entails. The comedian is aware, but is an alchemist of reality. The emotional angst -- tragedy -- is deliberately ignored; the incongruities of the world are presented as comedic -- a triumph of intellectual -- rather than emotional -- perception.   

1009. Most stand-up comedians rely heavily on personal anecdote; that is because they have a unique comedic perception of the world -- they are the lens through which the audience must peer, and, vicariously, perceive.

1008. Creativity differentiates and isolates; happiness is most often found with the herd.

1007. At the heart of comedy is the perception of incongruity -- but those who create comedy are unlikely to be mere trivialists, blissfully unaware of the more profound and tragic incongruities of the human condition.

1006. Happy people are seldom funny.

973. Political correctness is always serious: determinedly empathetic, and cautiously apprehensive. Laughter is spontaneous, and doesn't give a damn. The politically correct can never be jolly.

972. Laughter arises from a triumphant perception of differences. The politically correct can never acknowledge differences -- which is why they are so grimly humourless.

971. Laughter is a spontaneous cry of triumphant perception. The cause may be a word with a double meaning -- an incongruous circumstance -- or some absurd human pretension. The triumph is all; it is agnostic with respect to feelings.

970. Laughter arises from the sudden, triumphant perception of incongruity.

395. Humour that requires explanation has failed. It is DOA. The humorist should not be expected to conduct the messy and embarrassing post mortem of a dead joke.

316. Laughter is the cry of intellectual triumph which occurs when the "still sad music of humanity" is forgotten, and a surprising incongruity is suddenly perceived. The comedian focuses entirely on that superficial incongruity; the "laughter" of the humorist is less triumphant and less pure; it is a chuckle which suggests an awareness of the underlying melody.

322. His intellect would feel lost in the vastness of a thimble. (Refers to a prominent Canadian political leader.)

280. Laughter and piety do not make good neighbours.

245. Mockery is the pin that bursts the bubble of pretension.

48. Many a jest is an impolitic truth in disguise.

47. While it may not be appropriate in every venue, and on every occasion, mockery is the guardian of reason, the enemy of pretension, and the mirror to folly. No belief, no passion, no commitment should be considered immune from the acerbic test of ridicule.

21. Saturday Night Live would appear to have been gone significantly astray: its focus is not on making successful comedy, but on making a success out of comedy. These aims are completely different, and may explain why the show is seldom funny.