Do you find jokes funny if you disagree with their premise?

Inspired by a short conversation in the “Fagnostic” thread (in which they discuss the possibility of disbelieving in homosexual acts despite lots of evidence of it):

My first instinct, when I read this, was to laugh. I thought it was hilarious. This is despite the fact that the premise the joke rests on, “atheism = disbelief in something for which there’s an enormous amount of evidence”, is a statement I disagree with. I am closest to agnostic, religiously speaking. Is it strange that I would be amused by it then?

Anyone else experience this phenomenon a lot, and can maybe articulate the reason for it better than me?

I laugh at racist jokes.

Even though I think the basic idea is stupid and the terms don’t really make sense when you analyze them, I still though Fagnostic, gaythiest and lesbitarian were hysterical. I also plan to incorporate them into my vocabulary and use them whenever it seems even remotely appropriate.

Yeah, I laugh at racist jokes, despite knowing I “shouldn’t”.

On that note, I think that real bigots have spoiled a great avenue of some of the greatest humour; highlighting absurd suggestions/stereotypes about groups and subsets of people, along with laughing at actual polar differences in society.

I didn’t really consider that premise to that depth, and I laughed at the comment, only because it was a funny play on words- I was going to make a similar joke with Gaytheist, but saw I was beaten to the punch.

It was only afterwards when I was sitting around, did I realize that gay theist makes no sense in that context (as it just seems to imply a gay religious person), but at the time it was linked to the play on atheist and I just added gay to it to make it into a pun. But yeah, stretching out the humor and analyzing it is a great way to kill jokes and the humor. It’s best just to laugh and enjoy it if it actually seems funny to you- then again, i do tend to laugh at things, and then wonder “Why am i laughing?”

My gut feeling on this is that if your brain gets so involved in something like a well-turned phrase that you find yourself unable to laugh at the sheer unexpectedness of it, then you don’t have a particularly good sense of humor.

Some things are funny simply because they’re witty and well-timed.

This summer, I heard a joke about how Obama was going to choose Stallone for his running mate, and ask Pelosi to be his Secretary of State(?) and they’d be called Sambo, Rambo, and Bimbo. I laughed*, because it was a well-turned phrase, although I don’t think Pelosi is exactly a “Bimbo”, I don’t find racial humor amusing and I’m definitely more of an Obama supporter than not.

But it was a moderately clever idea, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong or unusual with finding similar things amusing even if at second thought you are inclined to split hairs over the definition.
*Or rather, I smiled-- I seldom laugh at deliberate jokes, though I get the giggles easily if in the right mood.

I know, I am totally stealing all three. 'Cause it’s just funny.

I laugh all the time. Most of the time I’m ‘laughing on the inside’, because I don’t want to be mistaken for mean or goofy. But pretty often, I’m laughing out loud, right from my belly. That goes for racist jokes, and all other kinds, too.

That’s not funny.

Some of my favorite jokes are about the Holocaust.

Yeah, I’m pretty offended by sexism and I laugh at sexist jokes all the time.

I read a ‘sexist’ joke here on the boards (would love to attribute it to the correct poster, but I can’t remember who):
Q: Why did the feminist cross the road?

A: To suck my cock.
I don’t know why, but I thought that was just great and I laughed out loud, which I rarely do when reading or own my own - both of which where true of me at the time.

With the caveat that “this will be funnier if you pretend I’m male!” - I’ve told it to practically everyone I know (barring grandparents, around whom I can’t quite bring myself to use the phrase “suck my cock” ;)).
I’ve always thought that sexist/racist jokes depend upon the teller. Sometimes the reason that they’re funny is because you know that you and the joker are seeing the racist or sexist position as the funny part of the joke and not the stereotype or insult presented. When a truly sexist person tells that joke, they’re probably thinking that it’s funny because it “puts those nagging femi-nazis right in back in their place - hah! stupid hairy-legged femi-nazis, damn straight they can suck my cock!”

When I hear it, I’m thinking the funny lies in the instantaneous and utter rejection of a very basic feminist principle - ‘women do not exist solely for the sexual pleasure of men’ - by a caricature of a ‘typical’ sexist male. It’s “That position is such a stupid one to take that it makes me laugh”.

You can usually tell in which direction the joker intends the mean-spiritedness of the joke to go.

I will laugh at nonPC jokes if they’re funny. If someone has to explain them to me, they aren’t funny (and get less and less that way the more they’re explained).

So tell me what’s funny about Rambo Sambo and Bimbo? I mean, I get why you might call McCain Rambo, and certainly I get the Bimbo, but why would anybody refer to Obama as Sambo and why would he be running with Republicans?

Sambo = derogatory term referring to black men. I guess the humor is supposed to be that Rambo, Sambo, and Bimbo all sort of rhyme. Bimbo kind of breaks the pattern, though, and overall it’s not really that funny, IMO. But not because it’s offensive, like Nzinga, Seated said. Just because it’s not funny.

Which reminds me of this one that I’m sure you’ve all heard:

How many feminists does it take to change a light bulb?


I’ll laugh at any type of joke as long as I think it’s funny.

Of course some jokes are funny even if I don’t agree with their premise. I mean, sometimes the humor comes from the sheer outrageousness.

What did the Nazi say to the black guy?

Please step to the back of the oven.

It’s the most horrible and offensive joke I know, and it gives me fits of giggles every time.

Buckler–nice analysis of the feminist/suck my cock joke.

Ha!! That is one of my favorite jokes, and I learned it from a radical feminist.

Yeah I’ll laugh regardless of, or maybe even because of the taboo nature of the joke. Bring on the dead babies! Some jokes aren’t funny so much as clever, but I appreciate those too. A lot of jokes have an interchangeable victim - all of the Polish jokes I heard in NY I heard again as Yankee jokes when I moved to Texas for a summer.

It can depend on the teller though - if they seem to be emphasizing the hatred aspect of the joke more than the funny/clever it can be off putting. But then it’s more the attitude of the person than the inappropriateness of the joke itself that I find distasteful.

Looking at the OP again, I’m thinking he is talking less about taboos and more about technicalities. I can’t think of any examples, but if a joke had some technical error it wouldn’t make it less funny to me. Jokes have more ‘suspension of disbelief’ factor than fantasy novels for me.

Laugh first, apologize later. If it is funny, it is funny, no matter how offensive it is. I might chose not to repeat that joke ever again, but I still laugh the first time.

A friend once told that joke while in college. While everyone was laughing, an ardent feminist came into the room. When asked what was so funny, they repeated, “How many feminists does it take to change a light bulb?” And her reply was . . .

Yes, you guessed it.

In any case, some ethnic jokes are funny. I know one joke book that told them about a fictional ethnic group. They worked just as well as they did with a real one.

Personally, I can appreciate the humor in a good ethnic joke even if I find the stereotypes offensive.

I don’t believe in cannibalism or castrating your abusive husband, but

What did Jeffrey Dahmer say to Lorena Bobbit?

“You gonna eat that?”

is still my all-time favorite joke. It’s just so perfect.