They actually bother me more now that I’ve lost all kinds of weight. Weird but true. I guess now I appreciate how hard it is.
They’re certainly unfunny, though, because mot of the time it’s just really shitty, lazy humor. “Ha ha look at the fat chick!” just isn’t original or smart. It’s seven-year-old humor that no adult with an IQ above 85 should find funny.
Of course, it IS possible to construct a funny joke out of anything. There’s a great little exchange in an episode of Friends when they’re watching an old home movie, taken when Monica was a fat teenager. When she appears on screen and everyone is surprised skinny Monica was once big, this exchange occurs:
MONICA: Alright, come on, eeryone knows the camera adds ten pounds.
CHANDLER: So how many cameras were on you in this shot?
This joke is funny because it’s verbal humour; it relies on Chandler taking a common cliche and using the words in an unexpected way. It’s good verbal humor.
Or a “Fat” joke can be a person struggling with the adversity of being too small for something, as Arabella Flynn suggests, or a comedian making fun of himself. A local comic named Michael Jagdeo has some very funny material about accepting his being overweight; he combines verbal and visual humour to actually talk about being overweight and find humour in it.
Similarly, you can make jokes about race that are really funny, but chortling “Niggers are stupid!” is not funny. “Ew, fatty!” just isn’t funny. Not because it’s about being fat, but because there isn’t a joke there.