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Dunning–Kruger effect men who should not ever be with women ever misogyny twitter women aren't funny women can't logic

Humorless dudes explain humor to funny women in inadvertently hilarious Twitter thread

As I have conclusively proven, the humor of Andrew Dice Clay is truly the pinnacle of human achievement

By David Futrelle

At this very moment — as you read this very sentence — some dude somewhere who completely lacks a sense of humor is explaining to a woman who does not that women just aren’t funny like men.

I have no evidence to back up that assertion but I feel pretty confident it’s true, and as a dude myself I regularly assume that things that pop into my head are definitely true. And come on, this one probably is.

Yesterday one of these humorless dudes — who happens to share the same first name with me, to the shame of all Davids — decided to inform Twitter that women aren’t funny. Responding to a quote from Tina Fey complaining that in TV comedy “women are treated like expensive cappuccino machines. … Where it’s like, ‘We have one. Why would we have two?!’,” this shitty excuse for a David declared that “as a general rule…women arent as funny….smarter not funnier.”

His comment drew some snarky responses from women funnier than him, including one from Ariel Dumas, a writer for the Colbert Show, who asked him “what show do YOU write for, david?” It also inspired this Tweet from writer Jennifer Wright, whose own personal wit was once described by People Magazine as being “as sharp as a guillotine’s blade,” but you don’t have to take their word for it; just read her Twitter timeline.

This tweet served as a sort of batsignal for some of Twitter’s unfunniest men, who began arriving in droves to explain to Wright and all other funny women that, no, they really aren’t funny; it’s biologically impossible. Seriously, I have no idea how all these dudes found out about Wright’s tweet, but they turned the thread that followed into one of the most inadvertently hilarious things I’ve ever read.

Some were outright indignant that a woman would make such gross generalizations about gender and humor.

Steve Tarkowski ‏ @tarksmarks44 Follow Follow @tarksmarks44 More Replying to @JenAshleyWright Similarly sexism is apparently funny when women do it, but oh so horrible when men do. You should really demand higher pay, not equal .... what with the superiority and all.

 

Maximillian Korobacz ‏ @1_clone Follow Follow @1_clone More Replying to @JenAshleyWright I dont recall a public statement from men declaring "We are the funniest" or seeing it in the male newsletter. Anyone who makes the assumption that approx 50% of the planets population thinks they're funnier than the other half is making a huge vague generalisation

Wright gently pointed out to Max (as she did to others in the thread) that she was responding to a dude who had done exactly what Max and so many other dudes say that dudes don’t do.

Other dudes in the thread offered accidental rebuttals to Max by making their own truly gross generalizations about gender and humor.

Amergin Blackwolf ‏ @DarkMoonCoven Follow Follow @DarkMoonCoven More Replying to @JenAshleyWright @beesbrain No, it's just that women have no sense of humor but an acutely over-developed sense of drama.

Winfield Scott ‏ @LtGenScott Follow Follow @LtGenScott More Replying to @JenAshleyWright @subversiveone2 While there are some damn funny comediennes, men have tended to dominate the field. Even today, it's hard to imagine a woman getting as red hot popular as Steve Martin in the 70s or Dice Clay in the late 80s/early 90s. Even in school. Who were the class clowns? Boys.

ANDREW DICE CLAY is one of your two examples of funny men? ANDREW DICE CLAY?

One guy appealed to the DIVINE RATIONALITY OF THE MARKET as proof that men were just much funnier.

Manie Chemin ‏ @CheminManie Follow Follow @CheminManie More Replying to @JenAshleyWright This makes absolutely no sense. The market overwhelmingly agrees that men, in general are funnier by rewarding them with a disproportionate share. Is the market sexist? You don’t actually believe this...

As one Tweeterer pointed out, this dude made a whole new Twitter account just to Tweet this ONE TWEET.

This guy, meanwhile, took a moment out from what I’m going to assume was a three-day meth binge to post this somewhat puzzling assessment of the issue:

c d ‏ @drionawk Follow Follow @drionawk More Replying to @JenAshleyWright this thread makes no sense i thougt we were all the same in liberials eyes there is no man or woman just they get the story straight or bi or whatever(i do not care what you do just do not force me to like it beacuase there are things i like that you do not like but i wont bash u

 

One fellow attempted to prove that men are funnier by repeating what is possibly the laziest and most tiresome joke I’ve heard in years, one that has become something of an alt-right catchphrase.

Korby L. Rhodes ‏ @RhodeysRoost Follow Follow @RhodeysRoost More Replying to @JenAshleyWright Are you assuming everyone’s gender?

 

Unfunny and unoriginal is no way to go through life, son.

(Ok, that response wasn’t original either, so sue me.)

But the most amazing response of the bunch was this one, which somehow worked in Tide Pods and “disposable males” while not actually addressing the question at hand at all.

Larry Eslinger ‏ @sling63 Follow Follow @sling63 More Replying to @JenAshleyWright Men are disposable in society. Hope you enjoy your programming. Kids eating tide pods, snorting condoms, no father figure in their lives. Years of programming, thru TV, where there are no male role models. All men are stupid screw ups. Societal collapse eminent.

That final “eminent” kills me every time I reread this one. Angry men, you never disappoint. (I mean, you always disappoint, which is why you never disappoint those like me who enjoy inadvertent humor.)

One woman asked the question I’m sure many were wondering:

Amanda Jenkins ‏ @EaglesExMachina Follow Follow @EaglesExMachina More Replying to @JenAshleyWright Is there a name for the thing where a woman tweets about men being [not funny, stupid, bad, etc] and men show up to prove her right?

Go read the whole thread. There’s more of this, as well as countless genuinely funny retorts from the “women actually are funny, you nimrods” side.

Here, just for the hell of it, is Andrew Dice Clay angrily storming off of CNN; it’s the one funny moment in his entire career, and its humor is entirely unintentional.

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PeeVee the (Perpetually Ignored, Invisible but Noice) Sarcastic
PeeVee the (Perpetually Ignored, Invisible but Noice) Sarcastic
3 years ago

I just left Jennifer Wright’s thread, and I have to say, I stopped because I could feel my blood pressure rising at the stupidity of it all.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

Yes. Boys are usually the class clowns. This is because obnoxious behavior in boys is encouraged. Girls on the other hand, are encouraged to be quiet and respectful.

Class clown does not necessarily mean funniest. It means the person whose jokes are the loudest and most public. That’s not the same as wit.

I crack my friends up all the time and have been called witty and funny by lots of different people. People are often surprised by this and when they first start getting to know be will express this surprise. Because I’m usually quiet and reserved and shy around people I don’t know. I’ve known so many women are hilarious. Almost none of them are the types of people to hold court in every room they walk in though. Women are just simply not socialized to be in your face all the time.

When men say women aren’t as funny, that tells me these particular men are just in the habit of not actually listening to women. In my experience, humor isn’t gendered. But I recognize that people of all genders are full human. Sexist dudebros don’t.

BoBali
BoBali
3 years ago

I’ve walked out of one show in my entire life where I’ve attended countless kinds of comedy, musicals, concerts… ONE show was so bad I couldn’t stay.

It was Andrew Dice Clay circa 2000. He started in the show by talking about some woman giving him a blow job in the back before the show. I think it was supposed to be funny material, but I didn’t get it, my hetero-man companion didn’t get it, and it was actually my date’s idea to just leave about 15 mins into the show. It was DUMB material, the dumbest I’ve ever heard from a professional comic. I have no clue how “hickory dickory dock” kept a showbiz career alive for as long as it did. lol

Oh… and we were seated right up front, front row, and straight got up and walked out down the long upwards slanting aisle in a showroom in Vegas. lol I always thought that can’t be too fun to experience as a comic, and I know others in attendance got exactly why we were leaving… haha. May as well have thrown a tomato.

I think Clay’s comedy hinged on being crass and brash. That was the gimmick imo. If that’s not amusing to you then you probably won’t care for him.

Gaebolga
Gaebolga
3 years ago

Jennifer Wright wrote:

Somehow this has lead to men concluding that they’re the funny gender

But we are the funny gender.

…just not “ha ha” funny.

[I’ll see myself out…]

EJ (The Other One)
3 years ago

I crack my friends up all the time and have been called witty and funny by lots of different people.

You can definitely add me to the list of people who say that about you.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

EJ,

comment image?itemid=4939702

AJ from GA
AJ from GA
3 years ago

Personally, I have noticed that I have a slight preference for male comedians. I would imagine that’s due to the fact that I’m a straight, white male, and thus end up relating to more of the jokes.

What I’ve never done is conclude that this means that men are objectively funnier than women. That would be an incredibly unimaginative, self-centered view of the world that fails to take into consideration other people’s viewpoints or opinions.

You know, the sort of total lack of empathy that makes racists think white people are discriminated against and that explains the entirety of MRA thought.

It’s almost like these guys are doing exactly that…

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
3 years ago

In oral form, I tend to prefer dry, sarcastic humor and I tend to find that women are better at that. In written form, I prefer surreal / absurd humor, and about all the author that I know who do that well are men.

(incoming recommandation of women who specialize in absurd humor I guess :p)

While my sample size is way too small to generalize that to the entire population, I would hazard the hypothesis that people have each their own taste in humor.

Case in point : each time I see what kind of stuff the far/alt right see as “humor”, it seem to be stuff that glorify or justify their belief. As if they were actually pouty teenagers trying to mask their insecurities under a facade of self confident. But who am I to doubt their alpha-ness and confidence ?

Shadowplay
3 years ago

But who am I to doubt their alpha-ness and confidence ?

A human being.

EJ (The Other One)
3 years ago

Hitchens said that humour is intelligence plus aggression, and since women are socialised to not show either of those traits, it leads our society to believe that women aren’t funny.

Being Hitchens, he said it in a more objectionable and dickish way than that, of course.

Austin G Loomis
3 years ago

…am I the only one struck by the sheer level of all-I-know-about-this-is-that-it’s-a-liberal-fnord it takes to write the phrase “snorting condoms”?

snake.eyes.johnson
snake.eyes.johnson
3 years ago

I well remember the day my dear old dad took me aside and warned me not to snort soap or contraceptives.

lkeke35
lkeke35
3 years ago

So Andrew Dice Clay and f*cking Steve Martin was all that guy could come up with. Okay not trying to turn this specifically into a racial issue but this is how I know he’s a White male. They are the ONLY ones who have ever liked Andrew Dice Clay, who I personally have never been able to stand.He has always been the kind of person I turn the television channel away from.

Not in the history of ever have I heard anybody Black say they liked Andrew Dice Clay, although I have known a few who will tolerate Steve Martin because they liked the movie The Jerk. I liked Steve Martin just fine, but really? Those were the best examples of male comedians that guy could come up with, which is kinda sad. I mean he didn’t even consider George Carlin, Eddie Murphy, or Richard Pryor.

My favorite male comedian, right now, is Kevin Hart, and my favorite two female comedians, right now, are Melissa Mccarthy, and Kate McKinnon.

I’ve had a whole choir of favorite female comedians over the years, though. Ellen Degeneres, Wanda Sykes, Tig Notaro, Kathy Griffin, Whoopi Goldberg. Hell, female comedians is something that is very easily googled, which tells me sooo much about that guy.

Mexican Hot Chocolate
Mexican Hot Chocolate
3 years ago

For the record, the two funniest people I personally know are both women. One is an actress and stand-up comedian who regularly has gigs in the Bay Area. The other is a gifted physical comedian in the vein of Lucille Ball who regularly gets hired for commercials and hosting gigs.

Second, the men in Jennifer Wright thread don’t understand how generalizations work or the point she was making.

Moggie
Moggie
3 years ago

Humourless dudes, have you watched Samantha Bee lately? She’s killing it in Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. And here’s an interesting bit from the show’s wikipedia page:

Bee hired Jo Miller and Miles Kahn, formerly producers of The Daily Show, as executive producers for her new show. They set up a blind process for hiring writers that hid the gender and experience level of the applicants, resulting in a writing staff that is approximately half female and 30% non-white.

So, when experienced comedy professionals hire based on talent without knowing the gender of the writer, it turns out that women do as well as men.

EJ (The Other One)
3 years ago

Hey there, Ikeke35. Good to see you again.

I’m a big fan of Katherine Ryan. Her work can get a little non-PG-13 at times, but she’s funny as hell and seems to have decent politics.

(A)utonomist Escapist
(A)utonomist Escapist
3 years ago

SubHuMans (UKSubs) said it best in “Mickey Mouse is dead”…

So much terrible Stand-up, I usually can’t stomach it, particularly because there’s so much of a white-boys-club-aura surrounding it. I know there’s plenty of funny people, but too rarely do they get the spotlight.

And as is proven tenfold over in those, the male ego is the most fragile thing in existence…

Weird (thumper of trumpanzees) Eddie
Weird (thumper of trumpanzees) Eddie
3 years ago

Andrew Dice Clay is the “unsolicited dick pucture” of comedy

A white man who makes obscene comments about everyone who is not a white man, and thinks the comments are funny because they’re about people who are not white men… that’s not comedy, that’s bigotry.

Michael Suttkus, II
Michael Suttkus, II
3 years ago

First I heard of Andrew Dice Clay was some news show doing opinion coverage of him, concluding that his comedy wasn’t sexist because there were women in the audience and they were laughing.

That was years before I had read feminist websites about things like how women are socialized, and even then I thought the obvious explanation wasn’t “he’s really funny” but “They’re probably just trying to be polite to their date”, because certainly none of the pictures he showed of women laughing where of women on their own.

Nothing Clay said struck me as the slightest bit funny, despite me being in the target demographic of white, male, straight. Probably to do with the censorship bleeps. I’m sure it would have been hilarious if only I could have heard the actual bad language.

But clearly, I’m only saying this so I can impress feminist chicks so I can sex them, despite all feminists being too ugly for men to want to sex them. I clearly suck at being male. Well, actually, that isn’t surprising. : – )

Handsome :Punkle Stan: Jack

This is my favorite Andrew Dice joke.

https://youtu.be/cGuGeBT3MFY

Uly
Uly
3 years ago

Does anybody really believe teens are really chowing down on Tide Pods or snorting condoms? I thought we could chalk that one up to the same myth-churn that brings us “jelly bracelets are sex games!!!!” every few years.

Fruitloopsie
Fruitloopsie
3 years ago

There have been people of all ages, races and genders who have made me laugh and as a woman I made people laugh and had them tell me I’m funny.

Women like Toniajo Hall aka auntie beechress, Liza and superwoman on YouTube are pretty funny.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=l13A2re7AEk

And to Amanda Jenkins’s comment I like to vote for is ‘Christopher Hitchens law’

Z&T
Z&T
3 years ago

Trying to recall what few “dice man” jokes I remember,

I thought, – if you’d swap M and F in his “jokes”, and it was a woman telling them, it would be nothing but BOO! and outrage and sluts and cock carousels and all their other various bs.

Hippodameia
Hippodameia
3 years ago

How do you snort a condom? That’s not making any sense at all . . .

lkeke35
lkeke35
3 years ago

Hey EJ,
Immaround still!

Hippodaemia: Yeah, I’m confused about that too. Wtf?!!
My mom told me about it, and I gave her a look, like maybe she had made a mistake in her words, cuz she couldn’t explain it to me, either.

Hypatia's Daughter
Hypatia's Daughter
3 years ago

Of course women have a sense of humor…
Some of us marry men, don’t we?

Bina
3 years ago

Andrew Dice Clay would only ever be funny if he slipped on a banana peel and landed on his ass in the middle of one of his cool-story-bro bits.

And you wanna talk class clowns? I got seated behind two or three of them a few years in a row, from about Grade 6 through 8. (I was the quiet but smart introverted kid with the glasses, who had to sit up front because my eyesight was so damn crappy.) The reason they got seated in front of me, blocking my view of the blackboard and wrecking my concentration? Because when they sat at the back, as they preferred to do, they wouldn’t stop talking with their buddies, making those easily amused gits laugh. The teachers plunked them in front of me in the fond hope that my brains, or at least my good behavior, would rub off on them. But what did they do? Turned around and started yapping at me, trying to make me laugh. Which I did, but not so much at their silly antics as at the general absurdity and hopelessness of the situation. I sadly fear that that only encouraged them to keep up with their (highly derivative, I now see) schticks, even though it wasn’t meant to.

And yes, you may assume what gender those clowns were. Hell, everyone else on that tweeter thread did…

Catalpa
Catalpa
3 years ago

…Maybe the autocorrect changed “cocaine” to “condom”?

Otherwise, I got nothing. And even then it’s not like Millenials/Gen X are the main ones who would be snorting cocaine, anyway. As far as I know, cocaine is one of the pricier addictions, financially. It’s a rich man’s drug. Not a lot of people in my generation can claim to be wealthy.

Dvärghundspossen
Dvärghundspossen
3 years ago

As far as I understand, that “snorting condoms” thing refers to, uh, a party-trick, where you pull a condom up through your nose and then out through your mouth. I guess like one or two teenagers did this as a fun trick on a party and then idiot media blew it up like it was something all young people do all the time nowadays.

Rabid Rabbit
Rabid Rabbit
3 years ago

@Dvärghundspossen

Right. You’re the philosopher. You explain that party trick and why it doesn’t justify Malthus.

The Real Cie
3 years ago

Damn those Liberials!
I wonder what choices of dressing he’s offering with that word salad.

Pie
Pie
3 years ago

@Rabid Rabbit

You explain that party trick and why it doesn’t justify Malthus.

Easy! Goofy physical humor is especially entertaining to the inebriated, and there’s no link between condom snorting and the sort of dramatic fall in agricultural efficiency that would result in mass starvation.

(A)utonomist Escapist
(A)utonomist Escapist
3 years ago

And children! I can make fart-sounds with my hands over my eyesockets, does wonders in my line of work (after-school-care, aged 5-10)!

I guess all feminists and progressives are fart-eyes now,because it’s on the internet and true!

Tosca; Chaos made Flesh, Servant of the Purring Jew
Tosca; Chaos made Flesh, Servant of the Purring Jew
3 years ago

@Bina;

The reason they got seated in front of me, blocking my view of the blackboard and wrecking my concentration? Because when they sat at the back, as they preferred to do, they wouldn’t stop talking with their buddies, making those easily amused gits laugh. The teachers plunked them in front of me in the fond hope that my brains, or at least my good behavior, would rub off on them.

Sorry, but your teacher was an idiot. If you put Class Clowns at the front of the class, they are (as you found) difficult for even the motivated learners to ignore. The secret is to put them at the back of the class…and bust anyone who turns around to look at them. Without an audience, they tend to pull their heads in.

Valentin - Emigrantski Ragamuffin
Valentin - Emigrantski Ragamuffin
3 years ago

I can say I am not very funny person and often I don’t understand jokes, even jokes my friends make in my own language and I also often don’t understand jokes on TV or movie. generally I will say I have sense of humour but it is not for things which most people think are funny or even for jokes – if I laugh so much i cry it is because of funny situation or thing in real life. for example when my cat ate fish food and made a red poo 😁 I don’t think men are funnier or have more sense of humour – men are only loud. 🤷

Sinkable John : Pansy Ass Pinko, Regicidal Beast-of-Burden
Sinkable John : Pansy Ass Pinko, Regicidal Beast-of-Burden
3 years ago

Just wanna point out that there’s a whole damn lot of cis dudes these days who are quite literally the unfunniest thing in the world.

Jojomojo
Jojomojo
3 years ago

Sinkable John: I personally feel that the most disarming thing you can tell to these kind of guys is something along the lines of “wow, you’re boring”. Its not even very far off as it is.

Jamborina Squib
Jamborina Squib
3 years ago

I recently watched a few Toastmasters vids on YouTube with Dina Hashem competing, the only woman to win one of their roasting tournaments. She is so impressive! The guys tend to be loud and brash, and she’s so quiet that you have to pay attention – and you do! Def recommend, just as always with YouTube, comment-readers beware.

Starfury
Starfury
3 years ago

Oh, God, I do the bloke thing..

If a joke is met with silence I often follow up with ‘Oh come on! That was gold!’ (if it stood on it’s own merit) or go into a faux-awkward over-explanation of why it was funny (if it was middling) or over-dramatically lament how I didn’t stick the landing (if I just ballsed it up by using the wrong wording or timing)

I don’t do it with strangers or acquaintances though. Then I just do go quiet and hope no-one realises I was trying to be funny at all or were just not really listening to me in the first place. Maybe that’s the difference.

bekabot
bekabot
3 years ago

CN: tl; dr

This is one of those gendered oppositions which doesn’t hold good across time and space, meaning that men are thought to be ‘naturally’ funnier than men in some times and places and that the reverse is thought to be true in others. In cultures where humor is thought of as social glue, women are thought to be funnier than men, and in times and places in which humor (and/or irony/sarcasm) are thought to be an inferior reflex, or inspiration-from-below, or news from the subconscious, women are also thought to be funnier than men. (Which is probably why Europeans, and the British to a more limited extent, think women are funnier than men to this very day.) Even more important, in cultures where the expectation is that the audience will laugh at the comic, women are expected to be (‘naturally’) funnier than men.

But! In cultures where humor is thought of as a social disruptor (and is either cherished or dreaded for that reason) or where humor is thought of as a gift from the gods (IOW: inspiration-from-above) and as proof of ‘genius’, and in cultures where the expectation is that the comic will laugh at his audience and not the other way around, in cultures where the position of the jester can be a privileged position — in these cultures, men are thought to be ‘naturally’ funnier than women are or can be. (America is a simon-pure example of a culture of the second type or kind.)

Short version: wherever and whenever the business of being funny stands of chance of lifting its practitioner to social prominence and of being financially well-rewarded, men are given credit for being funnier than women; when and where the reverse is true, not so much. (Sorry for the paucity of laughs.)

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
3 years ago

@ bekabot

That’s a really interesting analysis; and it does explain a lot. I couldn’t comment on this thread before because the whole premise was so alien, and not just by usual MRA standards.

the British to a more limited extent, think women are funnier than men to this very day

And that’s part of it. I suspect if you did a random survey of Brits as to who’s funny, the list would be dominated by names like Victoria Wood, Dawn French, Sandi Toksvig….etc.

bekabot
bekabot
3 years ago

@Alan Robertshaw:

thanks for reading.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
3 years ago

Thanks for taking the time to write it!

Gr8dane
Gr8dane
3 years ago

I work in construction and for the most part guys on my sites are decent people. But there was this one time a few months back… a contractor made a sexually explicit joke at my expense. I politely said ” hey man, that’s not funny, I don’t appreciate that.”
His response ” maybe you’re just a fucking bitch with no sense of humor.”
That has happened many times throughout my life, where if you’re a female who does not laugh at a man’s ” joke” not only do you not have a sense of humor, you’re also labelled a bitch.

bekabot
bekabot
3 years ago

You’re welcome.

Paradoxical Intention: Resident Cheeseburger Slut

Gr8dane | April 14, 2018 at 2:23 pm
I work in construction and for the most part guys on my sites are decent people. But there was this one time a few months back… a contractor made a sexually explicit joke at my expense. I politely said ” hey man, that’s not funny, I don’t appreciate that.”
His response ” maybe you’re just a fucking bitch with no sense of humor.”
That has happened many times throughout my life, where if you’re a female who does not laugh at a man’s ” joke” not only do you not have a sense of humor, you’re also labelled a bitch.

I’m seeing this shit a lot with older comics as well. Like that one show where Jerry Seinfeld decided that clearly the college audience clearly didn’t have a sense of humor because they didn’t laugh at his jokes, or how his daughter called him out for saying something bigoted and he was like “wtf”. Like it never occurred to him that he just might not be fucking funny anymore.

It just seems to stem from typical cishet white dude entitlement, imo. They believe they’re not only entitled to an audience, but an audience that will validate them and laugh at all their jokes, rather than them putting in the work to actually figure out what their audience will find funny and trying to play to that.

Rabid Rabbit
Rabid Rabbit
3 years ago

@bekabot, @Alan

I wonder if that in part explains the rise of Boris Johnson, or at least his ability to pretend to be a champion of the masses? Yes, he’s a classicist and member of the elite, but he’s so entertaining that the audience laughs at him, and that averages him out to a normal bloke?

Airren
Airren
3 years ago

@weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

I felt the same way about Tracy Morgan. I loved him on SNL in the day and my man took me to his stand-up in our city. It was horrible. Just misogynist garbage delivered in a very loud yell. I was disappointed, the dude was also disappointed. In general, I can’t deal with that guy anymore.

bekabot
bekabot
3 years ago

I put Boris Johnson in the same category with Silvio Berlusconi and Donald Trump. (Which may not be fair, but I don’t pretend to be anything other than an American who listens to public radio maybe every other day.) The standards for such men aren’t high: in fact they (the standards) are so low as to be nonexistent; with the result that the reputation they (the men) earn for being funny (when they have it) stems not from their wit (when they have that) or from their humor, or whatever, but from their ability to present to their marks with an image of themselves which looks bulletproof from a distance and which is at least five times larger than life.

IOW, I would say that Boris Johnson derives his reputation for being funny not from his ability to be funny but from his ability to play the part of a bloke. When he plays to the blokes, the blokes see another bloke, but what they see is a bloke whose head scrapes the ceiling. (IMO, Andrew Dice Clay based his career on the variations he played on the same theme.) It’s not very different from the situation which prevails with Trump and the Deplorables: Trump’s base adores him and grants him kudos for being funny, not because he’s funny (he’s not) but because he affords to them an outsized and powerful vision of themselves. He grants them the chance to be the ones who are in on the joke: the laughers instead of the laughed-at. Trump’s base loves Trump not because Trump knows how to tell a funny story but because Trump relieves them from a position they’re all too familiar with — the position of being the butt of a joke. (For which they’re hugely grateful; as, of course, they would be. Makes sense.)

So: I don’t know that I think that Boris Johnson gets his audience to laugh at him: what I think he does instead is enable his audience to laugh at the rest of the world, with him as their go-between. The audience, when it laughs, isn’t laughing at Johnson; it’s laughing at Johnson’s enemies, which are presented as its own. Johnson isn’t the target of the laughter, he’s the channel for it; and he doesn’t stand for the world outside but for the audience itself. That, at any rate, is the way Donald Trump does it, and I expect Boris Johnson’s schtick pretty much amounts to the same tune somewhat more skillfully played in a finer tone. (But then, you have to remember that I’m an American and that I’m not any better schooled in foreign affairs than most Americans are, which means I have no idea what I’m talking about.)

Faerie Bard
Faerie Bard
3 years ago

Oh, golly, I had a random man at the hardware store tell me a “funny joke” about “women drivers” today. (There was junk in the aisle, and my cart caught on it, making it go all sideways for a bit. Of course he felt it was appropriate to comment. *eyeroll*)

Thank you, rando guy, for your “joke,” but you will have to explain the humor of it to my poor addled incapable of driving lady-brain. Maybe make a pie chart for me. Those are actually made out of pie, right? My ladybrain understands pie, because it is a kitchen thing. Pies are circle right? Gosh, math is hard… (sarcasm)