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  • mistermuse 12:02 am on April 11, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , National Humor Month, National Poetry Month, , , ,   

    ZEE POET OR ZEE COMIC – WHICH EEZ MORE MORONIC? 

    In my April Fools’ Day post, I noted that April is NATIONAL HUMOR MONTH. As a poet of sorts, wouldn’t it be funny if April also happened to be NATIONAL POETRY MONTH?

    Well, as you might guess,
    it turns out that, yes,
    that is the case….
    and this is the place
    where poetry and funny
    join together as oney
    until death do them party
    or are doomed from the starty
    by comic rigor mortis
    or a poet out of sortis.

    Oui, mon ami — this is going to be a post which joins zee art of zee poet with zee art of zee comic, and if you don’t like zee combinaison, you can lump eet. What’s more, I’ll do more such posts, zee likes of which will have you begging for merci. So if you know what’s not good for you, you’ll take eet and like eet….or take eet and fake eet. I’m not particular. (I’m also not hungry — I think I eet too much.)

    Understand, I’m not one of those poets who doesn’t understand what he has written, but somehow expects zee reader to. Non, mon ami, I understand perfectly what I have written. It’s YOU who I expect hasn’t a clue. Why is that true? I have no clue. And, frankly my dear, I don’t give a fous (pardon my French).

    Unfortunately, I see that my allotted time for this post is almost up, so zee funny poems I was going to publish here must wait until next time, for which I apologize. Thank you for your very kind attention….or, as zee Hoosier Hot Shots more etiquettely and poetically put it:

     
  • mistermuse 12:01 am on April 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , commercialization, , , , Napoleon Bonaparte, National Humor Month, , , , , , ,   

    HUMOR INCORPORATED 

    Humor must both teach and preach if it would live forever; by forever, I mean 30 years.
    –Mark Twain

    If Webster’s definition of humor as the “quality of imagination quick to perceive the ludicrous or express itself in an amusing way” is on the mark, Twain underestimated the staying power of his humor by nigh onto 100 years (and counting). But “staying” is just one of humor’s possible powers, and because (as Lord Acton famously observed) power tends to corrupt, humor cannot absolutely avoid Acton’s axiom.

    My musing on this subject is occasioned by April being National Humor Month — so proclaimed in 1976 by Larry Wilde, Founder/Director of The Carmel Institute of Humor: http://www.larrywilde.com/

    As you might expect, The Carmel Institute of Humor is not without serious competition. A similar entity I’ve come across is The Humor Project, Inc., founded by Joel Goodman in 1977 “as the first organization in the world to focus full-time on the positive power of humor” — a claim that suggests a merger of Norman Vincent Peale’s “The Power of Positive Thinking” with funny business. And, from such appealing funny businesses as Goodman’s, have big businesses grown (judging by their “power” promotions): https://www.humorproject.com/

    Now, far be it from me to regard the corporatizing of humor as a phony business — hey, there are worse things to make of humor than a commodity, and worse ways to earn a buck than to commercialize the process. But, purist that I am, I see making humor in the same light as making love: much to be preferred on a human level than as an industry (the virtues of consumer capitalism notwithstanding). Nonetheless, I’m not so doctrinaire as to deny either humor or sex to potential customers when free(?) enterprise comes a-courting.

    Unlike Larry Wilde and Joel Goodman, mistermuse does not have a Speaker’s Bureau, a three-day Annual Conference (discounted fee for early registration), a five-point humor program, seminars or workshops. But mistermuse does offer an every-five-days discourse on subjects of interest (his, if not yours) — usually with tongue in cheek, and never with hat in hand. Dis course today concludes with ten humorous quotes, which come with a funny-back guarantee if he doesn’t think they’re priceless:

    Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same.Oscar Wilde (not to be confused with Larry – or Curly or Moe, for that matter)
    Conference: a meeting held to decide when the next meeting will take place. –Evan Esar
    You can’t study comedy; it’s within you. –Don Rickles (the Donald Trump of insult-comics)
    Start every day off with a smile and get it over with. –W.C. Fields
    Everything is funny, as long as it’s happening to somebody else. –Will Rogers
    Culture is roughly anything we do and monkeys don’t. –Lord Raglan
    In politics, an absurdity is not a handicap. –Napoleon Bonesapart (I’ve been waiting a long time for the opportunity to butcher that name)
    Politicians do more funny things naturally than I can think of doing purposely. –Will Rogers
    Humor is just another defense against the universe. –Mel Brooks
    Wit – the salt with which the American humorist spoils his intellectual cookery by leaving it out. –Ambrose Bierce

    Over, and out.

     

     
    • Cynthia Jobin 9:52 am on April 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Why do some people have to ruin the best things in life by turning them into a National Month or an institution/organization of some sort? I thoroughly enjoyed this post, and being partial to the more sardonic (sarcastic? satirical?) edges of humor, was glad to see some of my favorites featured…Oscar Wilde, W.C. Fields, Ambrose Bierce, and of course, Mark Twain.
      On the distaff side, one of my favorites is Dorothy Parker. I offer this bon mot of hers when she was hanging out with her fellow wits challenging each other to compose a funny sentence using the word “horticulture”….Parker’s contribution was: “You can lead a horticulture but you can’t make her think.”

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 10:28 am on April 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I love Dorothy Parker’s wit and probably should have included a Parker quote, but I’d set myself a limit of ten and liked the ten I’d chosen (plus, I think I already used that great quote before, though it certainly would’ve fit well here, and I thank you for offering it).

      To me, the quote that surprised me the most (in that I didn’t expect such profundity from the likes of Mel Brooks – what’s more, in so few words) was his “Humor is just another defense against the universe.”

      Liked by 2 people

    • D. Wallace Peach 11:03 am on April 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I like the Rickles quote. Well, I like all of them, but that one has always struck me as true. I would love to be funny, but just don’t have the gene. Fortunately, we don’t have to be funny ourselves to enjoy good wit and a belly laugh 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 12:13 pm on April 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Fat people take heart – the bigger the belly, the more capacity to laugh! No wonder Santa Claus is so jolly! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • arekhill1 11:09 am on April 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Humor is what separates humans from animals. That, and making tools. And not being afraid of vacuum cleaners.

      Like

      • mistermuse 12:21 pm on April 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Such separation is fortunate indeed, otherwise animals would be laughing themselves silly at what fools we humans be.

        Like

    • Garfield Hug 11:26 am on April 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Great share 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 12:23 pm on April 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Share and share a like, I always say. 🙂

      Like

    • Michaeline Montezinos 8:42 pm on April 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      One good belly laugh extends human life by one year ( My daughter the nurse .)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Todd Duffey Writes on Things 11:21 am on April 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Why do witticisms always come from people at least two generations before ours? Those people were way ahead of their time…

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 2:06 pm on April 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      As one of those people born more than two generations before this one, I thank you for the tribute. 🙂 Seriously, though, I think there still are such people – they just don’t get the recognition they did in the days before mass instant gratification “re-conditioned” us and became the norm. Wit demands at least a bit of reflection. Who does that anymore?

      Like

    • Don Frankel 11:30 am on April 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      “Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.” Mark Twain. My hero.

      Like

    • mistermuse 6:30 pm on April 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Don, I would stand corrected if I didn’t happen to agree (well, except for politicians – they’ve been withstanding the assault of laughter since most of them evolved from baboons).

      Like

    • Don Frankel 7:03 am on April 18, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      No Muse you’re right. Laughing at elected officials is actually a healthy sign of a society and poking fun is a good thing too. But when they are cooked and ushered off the stage laughter is the last thing they hear. Think Anthony Weiner here and Nixon too.

      Like

    • mistermuse 7:42 am on April 18, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Good point, Don. We in the West take our freedom to laugh at politicians for granted. Any North Korean who dared so much as think about laughing at President Kim Jung-un wouldn’t live to think again.

      Like

  • mistermuse 6:45 pm on April 21, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Damon Runyon, , humorists, , , , National Humor Month, , Toulouse-Lautrec   

    WHAT’S SO FUNNY? 

    Field Marshall Helmuth von Moltke, the leading 19th century Prussian strategist, was said to have laughed only twice: once when told that a certain French fortress was impregnable, and once when his mother-in-law died. -Paul Johnson, historian/author

    April is NATIONAL HUMOR MONTH. Why? April may have this privilege over other months because it begins with April Fools Day and ends with National Honesty Day — but to be honest, I’m just speculating. A more interesting question is raised by this post’s title….or, as W. C. Fields put it, We know what makes people laugh. We do not know why they laugh.

    But we do know that what some people find funny, others don’t. A joke that cracks you up, I may not get. Something I consider juvenile may strike you as hilarious. Paul Johnson takes a stab at this in his book HUMORISTS FROM HOGARTH TO NOEL COWARD, in which he relates journalist/writer Arthur Koestler’s example of “the very primitive Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert of South Africa. What really makes them roar is when a springbok, fatally wounded by a bullet, continues to jump and kick in its death agony.”

    What is the difference between our reaction to the Prussian’s reaction to the death of his mother-in-law, and to the Bushmen’s reaction to the death throes of the springbok? Apples and oranges? That comparison will have to do….at least, until someone pays me for the fruits of my labor. Meanwhile, for those who might contemplate the purchase of Paul Johnson’s HUMORISTS, here is a list of A-list humorists covered in his book:

    Hogarth, Dr. Johnson, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Rowlandson, Dickens, Toulouse-Lautrec, G. K. Chesterton, Damon Runyon, W. C. Fields, Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy, The Marx Brothers, James Thurber, Nancy Mitford and Noel Coward.

    An interesting cast of characters, no doubt, though in a few cases, such as the second name mentioned, “it stretches [quoting Paul Johnson himself] credulity to write of Dr. Samuel Johnson as a comic.” What seems to me even more curious, however, is the non-inclusion of the likes of Mark Twain, whose omission I will make a feeble attempt to mitigate by giving him the last word here (which was also the closing quote of my April 16 post):

    Well, humor is the great thing, the saving thing, after all.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     
    • arekhill1 9:32 am on April 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Every month should be National Humor Month, unless every other month was International Humor Month instead. Or World Humor Month. Or Planetary Humor Month. Whether you call attention to the humor in the month or not, it’s always there.

      Like

    • mistermuse 10:34 am on April 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      If only the religious fanatics and extremists of the world believed humor is always there.

      Like

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