People who think things are funny are stupid

I was actually musing on the counterstatement to this earlier today: People with no sense of humor are idiots. I tried to argue the point with myself and lost fabulously, and I feel compelled to share my new wisdom. Whether I will be trading in my sense of humor for the mantle of adulthood remains to be seen, I may not be clever enough to wear it anyway.

See, I started by thinking I would put this assertion into GD, but decided against it because I don’t much care for the tone in that forum. The posts are pretty long and convoluted and folks in there weave their points from so many logical threads that I simply can’t follow what in the hell is being said. So I had to stop and think for a second. Well, a few minutes, actually. I have a hell of a sense of humor, and I think most things are funny, even stupid jokes and taboos. Funny requires an element of surprise, an unexpected or shocking connection between ideas. So the real correlation seems to be “Lots of funny” = easily surprised. Easily surprised = inability to predict or recognize interconnected or incongruous ideas before that connection is pointed out. Ergo, “Funny” = “Dim.”

Just to be sure it’s not simply the case that I’m simply an idiot with a sense of humor I figured I’d test the hypothesis. The test proved my point, but I forgot how it went. Sorry.

Ever heard MIT students telling each other jokes related to math and physics?

Well, THEY get the jokes. I don’t.

I believe the opposite.
The more intelligent you are, the quicker you get to the surprise and the bigger the payoff (laugh).

If you really suck at telling jokes though, you’ll not be able to test and confirm this hypothosis.

I’m glad you put this OP in this forum too. The tone of GD is a little on the harsh side where things are picked apart over even one word, much like I would imaghine a buzzard picking over a carcass might act. I find you to be quite the funny guy and have had several humorous conversations with you that brightened my day right up.

Being funny involves finding or creating incongruities that other people might not notice. The inability to notice those things doesn’t make one stupid, it just means one’s mind doesn’t work that way.

People who think things are stupid are funny…

Yeah, but what about stuff like that thread around here about the people taunting the woman pan handler with a 20$ bill and then snatching it back and laughing? They thought it was funny.

And what about all the people who use ‘being funny’ as a thinly veiled excuse for their snark and nastiness? They always think they are just being funny.

It seems to me that a whole lot of unpleasant innuendo and even cruelty is regularly passed off as just being good fun. “Why you being so sensitive, it was a joke!”

And what about racist humour? We all see why the punch line is supposed to be funny.

It seems to me that a lot of what gets called funny could be called idiocy, quite rightly. I think these things are why people are quick to find people who find everything funny as maybe less than smart.

OK, time for a physics joke. The experimental physicist goes running into the theoretical physicist’s office and says, “Hey! Guess what? I just did some measurements and found that A is greater than B!”

The theoretician leans back and thinks, then jumps to the blackboard and scribbles out a proof, saying, “Well! It’s really not that hard to prove that A would have to be greater than B.”

The experimentalist looks confused a moment, then says, “Oops! I’m sorry, I mispoke. What I actually found was that B measures greater than A.”

The theoretician says, “Oh, heck, that’s even easier to prove…”

The OP reminds me of this joke:

How do you make an idiot wait?

I like to think that the faster people get that one, the smarter they are. You have to be careful who you tell it to, though. When he was in high school, my husband told it to his boss’s daughter, who laughed and got it. The boss overheard and asks him to tell him.

Husband: “Ok. How do you make an idiot wait?”
Boss: “…”
H: “? worried face
B: “…I don’t know, how?”
H: “I…um… tries to change the subject

5 minutes pass.

Boss: “Come on, just tell me!”
Husband and boss’s daughter: “Uh…that’s the joke…idiots wait for the punchline…”
Boss: "Oh. Well, that’s not very nice. :frowning: "

OK, OK, time for an aerosol science joke.

The Governer of Kentucky decides it is important for his state to produce more winning racehorces, and calls his top three technical experts, who are (of course) a geneticist, an aerodynamicist, and an aerosol scientist.

The geneticist says they obviously need to breed stronger horses and lays out a strategy for doing so.
The aerodynamicist says, “No, this isn’t really solving the right problem. It’s not that racehorces need to be strong. What’s important is that they need to be streamlined, so that they have less aerodynamic drag on the track. We should be studying aerodynamic drag on horses.”

The aerosol scientist says, “Yes! Exactly! To begin with, let’s assume the horse is a sphere…”

[Explanation for anybody who’s not familiar with aerosol science, the study of airborn particles: it is a common and often necessary simplification, though sometimes unfortunately so, in aerosol science, to assume that particles are spherical when studying their interaction with air, as many kinds of particles are known to have other shapes.]

Ask me if I’m a truck.

I don’t fully agree with Inigo’s hypothesis. A person may well think that things are funny because they see connections that others don’t see at all.

Well ok, idiots and schizophrenics.

I would venture to point out some other scenarios.

Particularly intelligent individuals may well be accustomed to predicting the outcome of various sequences of events with considerable accuracy. Such individuals might therefore be expected to be more surprised when an outcome doesn’t match their expectations. This would generally result in stronger laugh responses, but at less frequent intervals. One might conjecture about a link between high intelligence and a partiality to surreal humor, as surreal humor is intrinsically more unpredictable. What chain of logic would lead you to expect a picture of a bunny with a pancake on its head, for example? Or knights who demand that a quester chop down a tree with a herring?

Highly intelligent individuals may also develop expectations about complex or subtle patterns that less mentally agile folks either would not notice or would not be capable of analyzing. The greater difficulty in analyzing such patterns might be expected to result in false expectations, especially if the pattern is illusory or deliberately constructed to mislead.

Intelligence aside, everyone is subject to lapses of attention or concentration. No matter how smart you are, you just get blindsided sometimes, often by something really stupid. Even when you’re paying attention, you occasionally stumble across absurd situations without warning. You might as well enjoy such occasions.

Your initial notion, Inigo–that people with no sense of humor are idiots–is difficult to support. You could devise other reasons for a lack of humor, to be sure. Anything that prevents someone from developing expectations about the scenario would also make it difficult for them to see humor in it. A simple lack of interest in the subject would be sufficient in many cases. A lack of familiarity or facility with the subject would likewise make it difficult to see humor related to it.

It might be easier to defend the claim that idiots have relatively little sense of humor, as they lack the capacity to detect patterns or predict outcomes.

Intelligence (high or low) and humor–also high or low–are not mutually exclusive. Relative intelligence undoubtedly plays a role in the type of humor that appeals to each of us, but it’s hardly the only factor.

Funny is too broad of a catego… checks forum um, dumb people like different jokes than smart people.

Your entire premise is faulty. First of all, simply recognizing an ironic or unexpected connection does not make something funny. Much of it is in the delivery.

Second, you are assuming that the punchline of any potential joke should be immediately evident ahead of time to anyone of sufficient intelligence. I would submit that there are far too many possible punchlines for any particular circumstances for anyone to constantly be prepared for any joke.

And finally, as long lost Visa pointed out, dim people might not recognize the irony or other nuances that would make it funny. It’s like when you are working with a bunch of idiots who don’t understand why Dilbert is funny because they don’t recognize that they are the Pointy Haired Boss or Evil Catbert.
That said, I think dumb people are probably more easily amused by lowbrow humor.

My problem with 99.99% of the sitcoms we see today; I DO see the conection (from a mile away) I still don’t find it funny.

However, this completely changes after consuming copius amounts of alcohol. I can’t imagine alcohol makes on smarter, so maybe the OP has a point.

My sense of humour gets tickled by irony and sarcasm, and the odd unexpected connection/juxtaposition. As was mentioned earlier in this thread, there are so many possible unexpected connections that this provides me with a good supply of things that makes me laugh.

Watching people be obstinately stupid with predictable results (as seems to be the case with many sitcoms) does not tickle my funny bone; it makes me feel like a witness at an inevitable but slow-motion train crash.

I know that many people find puns highly amusing, but while I see “the point”, I find them more frustration-inducing than funny. Especially the puns that have a long set up for a simple punch line …