This post was originally posted at FRS Citizen Journal on Blogger
People have asked me what's my style of humor, my sense of humor and how I come up with lines and so-forth. I'm not saying I'm a professional comedian or anything (at least I haven't gotten paid for being funny, yet) . But I have been able to make people laugh hysterically, intentionally and unintentionally in the past. And I've told them simply my sense of humor is off the cuff, I say what's on my mind when I'm thinking it. Rather than "that sounds funny and use it two weeks later". To me humor has to be fast and relevant. Example of a bad joke. Cracking jokes about Priests at a football game, is probably not a smart play.
First of all you're likely to offend a lot of people there and not seem funny, but insulting. Which to me are two different things, but you're going to get strange looks (or end up wearing someone else's lunch) like making a Catholic joke at a football game when some half-naked moron runs on to the field during the game and people will look at you like "what does a drunk Priest in Church have to do with the guy who ran on the field". You're humor needs to be relevant and needs to make sense. And what I do is, I see myself as an analyst of life, we all are and I make judgements and comment on things that I see whatever is that interests me. If you watch the sitcom MASH or Seinfeld, that's exactly what they do. Here's the situation, what you think about it and they would look for the funny side of it.
Alan Alda who played Hawkeye Pierce, my favorite sitcom character of all time. If not in TV in general would be performing surgery and cracking jokes as he's doing it while saving the patients life. One to relax the people he was working with in that stressful environment, but also to relax himself. "This is the situation and this is what's funny about it was their approach to comedy". To give you a personal example, I use to work in customer service, have about twelve years experience of that. And we were surrounded by people, customers mostly for whatever reason, they were nervous or whatever. But would go brain dead when they would approach you and ask the dumbest questions possible.
No joke when I worked at a movie theater, we had to wear these loud maroon colored red polo shirts. With the name of the movie theater on them, with these corny name tags on them. I'm Joe or Sally or whatever, with your name on them obviously, (what was the first clue). We just got a lot of customers that were either, drunk, high or both or perhaps just had brain surgery, but their doctor actually removed their brain by accident.
Smart answers to dumb questions
Customers would constantly walk up to me and ask, do I work here. And seriously this is no joke, I would always reply with a smart ass answer and I never got in trouble for it. And I would say no, I stole this shirt or I'm a member of the theater fan club.
"Do you sell popcorn?" No we are the only movie theater in America that doesn't sell popcorn. We sell Chinese food instead, but sorry no chopsticks you have to eat with your hands.
Again true story, one day I'm in a ticket booth, selling tickets, naturally. (If you would guessed I was selling sporting equipment, you would be wrong). And someone asked, me where do you buy tickets, I told them three blocks down the street at the gas station, but if you want your oil changed or need gas, you have to buy it here.
Another person asked what size is the small popcorn. I said small we aren't trying to fool you with false advertising even though that would be very tempting because of the quality of our customers. "Well what does it look like"? It looks small. Again no joke someone asked how much are free refills, I told them five bucks, but we only take travelers checks. Again this is the situation in front of me and that's what I was thinking right at that moment.
That's the style of humor that you get from Kevin Spacey the actor/director/writer, but I would throw in comedian as well. The guy could've been a full-time professional comedian if he wanted to. Watch the movies Swimming with The Sharks and Hurley Burley, The Big Kahuna and you'll see what I mean. I would add Chris Walken and Tom Hanks to that list because their humor is so spontaneous, off the top of their heads, they don't need scripts or writers. They do that for themselves which is what all great comedians do and is a style of humor I've patterned mine behind.