I brought it on myself. For publishing Al Silver’s latest cartoon, I deserve all the misery I am experiencing.
It seems that “funny, ha ha” is not so funny as I thought. The worst thing about it is that people want it explained. Every comic knows that an explanation of humor is the kiss of death. It wrings the “ha ha” out of a joke as surely as if were delivered by Henry Kissinger. Please don’t ask me why Henry’s telling a joke can’t be funny or you will be delivering another illegal blow to my kidneys.
Humor stands alone or it sits down. And when it sits down, it really sits. Consider this typographical error in the Wall St. Journal. In an article in its business section, instead of “golden share,” the WSJ wrote “golden chair.” Funny ha ha? Maybe, but the Journal apologized and said, “A golden share provision can make it difficult for a company to authorize bankruptcy filings.” So, WSJ said, it is really sorry for the mistake. Of course, the mistake was in explaining, but that’s WSJ for you – not exactly the last remnant of Keynesian/Mort Sahl humor on this third rock from the Sun.
Take two of the funniest jokes of all time….PLEASE. Okay, that’s one, and the other is “Why did the chicken cross the road?” Suppose, after you deliver the punchline, someone says to you, “I don’t get it.” What do you do? You could look at page 997 & 1/2 of The History of Stupidity and Bad Jokes to find the best explanation for the poor devil’s consternation combined with a fine explanation of why the punchline is riotous [it's the 1/2 page on which you find the answer] or you could take The Stupid One out to the back lot and shoot him. DEAD. From the perspective of The Stupid One, the latter is a bit of an uncalled for exaggerated response. From the perspective of what is best for mankind, it is perfect.
What? You still want to know why Pythagoras is perched on a cross? See page 998.