There’s a fine line between comedy and crazy. If you try to tell a joke about something that only pertains to you, it’s seen as weird instead of funny. Humor is a synapse between known neural clusters. A joke is a combination of accessing specific neural clusters, also known as the setup, and linking them together, called the punchline. The synapse that forms between the clusters releases pleasure which accesses the motor center to cathart, you know this as laughing.
Jokes can establish their own premise or access something that’s already been established by the audience. This is why people laugh at jokes they understand, or more importantly, why they don’t laugh when they don’t get it. A joke is meant to stimulate your consciousness to access specific neural clusters; if you don’t have those clusters, you can’t access them and therefore can’t make the synapse.
When a joke is explained to you, it ruins the humor. However, pleasure can still be released for forming the synapses to create new neural paths. This pleasure comes in the form of learning. We tend to laugh at what we already know which explains another type of humor: cementing comedy.
When you see a cartoon character about to step on a banana peel, you build a universe in which the character slips and falls. When you actually see the character slip, it stimulates your anticipated universe and synapses the new visual information to that cluster. We laugh at repeating jokes, catchphrases, and shared experiences for the same reason: we’re gaining new perceptive information that stimulates a memory we’ve already formed.
With enough repetitions, any joke can lose its humor. The more often we stimulate a synapse, the more solidified it becomes and the easier the synapse can form. Unfortunately, as the synapse solidifies, less pleasure is released for reinforcement.
New synapses always release the most pleasure, the reason a joke is usually funniest the first time. It’s the same reason new technology, news topics, and entertainment are so coveted: “new” triggers the most pleasure. The lack of pleasure released from stimulating heavily solidified clusters is what causes boredom. It’s why we become bored with a repetitive job and why you don’t laugh at a joke you’ve heard a hundred times.
Comedy can be simple or complex, and each has its merits. Simple comedy is easy to comprehend and usually relatable. Puns are some of the simplest jokes, triggering the clusters of two different words and synapsing them both to the new information.
Fart jokes will always be funny because everybody farts. Unfortunately, a negative opinion of farting might cause some people to disagree. It’s nice to stimulate clusters that you’ve already formed, it’s relaxing and doesn’t require much thinking. Sometimes it’s nice to laugh at the dumbest jokes just to feel the catharsis.
Musical comedy is funny because of the rhyme scheme. When a rhyme trend is established, we begin anticipating the possible rhyming words and even try to complete the lyric. When you hear the rest of the lyric, you’ll release pleasure either because you were right and synapsed it to your own cluster or because it’s new information to you. It’s funny either way.
Imitation comedy is funny because it accesses the memory of the person you’re imitating. The lines that a person says over and over can become the punchlines of an imitation comic because it will stimulate yet another established part of the character being imitated.
Irony is a more complex form of comedy that requires greater access to the mental plane. Irony is deviating away from the expected, which means you must first expect something. Speaking sarcastically brings up laughter because it synapses the intention with the opposite communicated message.
An unfortunate situation can sometimes feel funny simply because of the ironic nature of your bad luck. It’s okay to laugh at these situations. Your brain is just synapsing unexpected information, remember to trust that you can adapt to anything and keep on laughing.
The more you study anything, the more solidified the basics become. The same is true with comedy meaning the simple jokes eventually stop being funny. Many comedians start exploring alternative types of comedy like satire or dark comedy.
Satire is funny for the same reason as sarcasm but in a more conceptual way. Dark comedy is often funny only to those who have removed themselves from it. We all think some dark things and the few times they are uttered, sometimes they’re funny.
The reason they’re funny is often because they are uncommon statements and therefore must require a synapse of unexpected information. You may have heard this called “shock comedy.” Expect the unexpected and you’ll never be surprised but comedy will always find something that you can’t expect.
Humor is a trait that all humans share and its one that can propagate itself. Activating the neural path to laugh or even smile will continue toward the pleasure center in a backward path. Think about it, neurons are connected and laughter is stimulated when pleasure is felt. Therefore, laughing will trigger the same neural path and release pleasure. Fortunately for us, this pleasure releasing mechanism is a positive feedback loop.
“Laughter is infectious,” we mirror each other and stimulate neural paths to release pleasure, triggering more laughter. It’s nice to laugh and it’s nice to hear laughter; never be afraid to express it out loud, you might just brighten a room.
Humor is a basic hack into the pleasure center of our brain. It makes us happy and helps us to forget what we don’t want to think about. Everything can be joked about, even your most fearful thoughts can be spun into a comedic light. If you are afraid of a part of your brain, intentionally synapsing it to your pleasure center can ease that fear.
Use your understanding of your brain to control your brain and enjoy the little things in life. Laugh at a bad joke or share an ironic observation. No matter what your sense of humor, keep laughing and the rest of us will laugh with you.