How to be funny using personal frustrations

February 5, 2012 · Print This Article

Can it be done? Yes, and it can get a belly laugh as well. Our video below shows a great example of this… 3 minutes of solid fun. A friend sent this to me, and after watching it a bunch of times, I had to post it.

Today’s lesson… The humour found in frustrating social issues can often be amplified by differences in culture, race, sex… essentially most things on the list of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms somewhere around Chapter 11 (if I am not mistaken)… however Comedian beware… know your audience and refine your delivery to have no Mal intent. You certainly don’t want to offend (see the last paragraph “BEWARE THE INSULT” of this blog for some solid advice).

This video depicts an example of what is really coming to the world of voice activation. These guys take a frustrating experience and turn it into funny, wonderful comedy… The frustration is compounded with every attempt to circumvent the program and culminates with a great little twist at the end.

Of course, this kind of frustrating event is usually more funny when it’s happening to others as opposed to us.

My laughter grew with every attempt by the two Scottish comedians to prompt the voice activated elevator. I must have cranked up the sound a bit and forgot to turn it down because the people in the next office heard it and became infected with laughter too. If you have ever used one of these voice activated gadgets, you know that it is so bloody true; it’s funny to watch other people try to overcome the accent problem.

How will we handle the biases in languages, the presumptions of our own accents, and regional differences? We have Siri on IPhone, Bluetooth in our car, while major corporations are using it to connect with departments, and telephone companies use it to allow a search. Now it’s coming to elevators. So much good comedy to be found in all this…

BEWARE THE INSULT… On a more serious note, notice the self-deprecating nature of their actions and comments. They have so much fun making fun of themselves and their Scottish culture. It is what makes the Scots, the Irish and Newfoundlander’s so endearing. Yet it is still difficult to mention the idiosyncrasies of any culture unless you are really part of it, so be careful to consider your audience and your standing within that community. This is still a sensitive world where some people take slights on their culture seriously. Russel Peters, Don Rickles, and Chris Rock are a few comedians who, thankfully, have the ability to poke fun at almost anyone or any culture but they still maintain boundaries of decorum, tradition and common sense around disabilities, religion, sexual orientation and race. Sure they focus mainly on the culture they come from and can even say some pretty serious things about themselves and because it is self-deprecating rather than a perceived attack by an outsider, we laugh. So each of these comedians can call a friend by a derogatory term but someone from a different culture could be hauled over the coals for saying the same things. Quick note: Audience, delivery and no Mal intent… good luck.

Before we sign out… Another fine example of today’s comedy lesson…

Siri meets Siri

Remember, when you get an idea like that… record it on your Iphone and put it on YOUTUBE… anyone can become a star these days… now you are one more step closer to solving the mystery of how to be funny.


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