Things that used to be funny, but just aren't funny anymore

As a recent episode of Too Much Coffee Man pointed out, there are lots of things that used to be staples of comedy, but which are totally unfunny today. A few examples:

[li] Domestic violence. Men getting beat up by oversized wives with rolling pins used to be funny (“Andy Cap” is one example).[/li][li] Alcoholism. The mere act of being drunk used to be funny, especially if you got hiccups(HIC!) or walked into street lamps.[/li][li] Sexual harassment at the workplace - aging CEO:s chasing unwilling secretaries around the office used to be a recipe for hilarity.[/li][li] Hillbillies used to be pictured as funny, stupid types(“Li’l Abner”) but at some point they started to be shown as being menacing/stupid instead (“Deliverance”).[/li][/ul]
Can you think of any others?

I assume you mean things that are now too un-PC for public airing. Of course, you’ll find that privately, many people still find these things funny.

Anyway, this would obviously include all sorts of racial humor (blackface, etc.)

Not just that. These things are un-PC, true enough, but the point is, many of them are also simply not funny anymore (take a look at some 1950s cartoons or sitcoms to see what I mean). It seems to me that mainstream humor today is much more sophisticated than it used to be (compare “Seinfeld” to “I love Lucy”), and, PC or not, a lot of situations are no longer funny in and of themselves.

I agree that a lot of people still find racial stereotypes funny, at least privately, and that this will probably never change.

Not just that. These things are un-PC, true enough, but the point is, many of them are also simply not funny anymore (take a look at some 1950s cartoons or sitcoms to see what I mean). **
“Not funny anymore” is obviously a matter of taste. Or is there some sort of objective criteria for being funny? I find Woody Allen movies and “Will and Grace” to be “simply not funny”; millions of people would beg to differ.
It seems to me that mainstream humor today is much more sophisticated than it used to be (compare “Seinfeld” to “I love Lucy”), and, PC or not, a lot of situations are no longer funny in and of themselves.**
Who says Seinfeld is more sophisticated than I Love Lucy? I enjoy Seinfeld (one of my top 3 favorite shows of all time) way more than I enjoy I Love Lucy, but I wouldn’t say that “sophistication” is the reason why. Nose-picking, masturbation, and body odor are not what I call sophisticated plot devices; in fact, I think that’s why many people liked Seinfeld. It didn’t try to be sophisticated at all.
For the record, I find Andy Capp hilarious, despite his un-PC behavior of boozing. I find Ralph Kramden hilarious despite his threatening to send Alice “to the moon,” which some feel smacks of domestic violence.

I realize that this is a poll asking people what they think isn’t funny anymore, and that’s fine. I just don’t think it’s possible to objectively say that such-and-such “just isn’t funny anymore” since it all depends on taste.

SNL still does a good job of making things funny. IMHO, they did an excellent job with a skit in which an office staff member showed up at a meeting wearing a half T-shirt with “USA” on it and male thong underwear made of American flag material. He dressed this way after an office memo encouraged staff to be more “patriotic.” It was a hilarious skit.

I used to laugh at the “I’d travel 10,000 miles to smoke a camel” t-shirt my marine friend wore after desert storm.

It’s not funny so much anymore. To me anyway.

I heard about a convention in the early 1980s where the speaker warmed up the audience with an AIDS joke. That’s back when it was a weird, rare “Gay” disease. Within two years that wasn’t funny.

School shooting jokes aren’t so funny to me, either.

Panhandlers, bums, Jack Hell/Freddie the Freeloader type humor isn’t so funny as it used to be.

Jokes about infidelity are pretty out of style, too.

da hell? Try Jack Kelly. Yikes.

Ya know, I think the real reason they don’t let us post more often than once a minute is so there’s a better chance that somebody will spot the goofy error in the intervening minute and post some sort of snide, sarcastic remark, thus inspiring people to preview.

That ought to fill up a minute… let’s see…

This forum is called “In My Humble Opinion.” The OP didn’t ask for objectivity. Any discussion of what is or isn’t funny is always going to be subjective.

I think that clumsiness stopped being funny many years ago. When John Ritter stumbled all over the set of “Three’s Company,” the joke was already old.

Observations about the nonsensical nature of the English language aren’t funny anymore. Yeah, yeah, you drive on a parkway and park on a driveway. We all get it.

As of a couple of years ago, anyway, we all thought Kramer’s clumsiness was still pretty funny. It all depends on how it’s done. John Ritter would be unfunny doing pretty much anything, if you ask me.

I actually think anything can be funny if it’s done in an original way that opens some new angle or presents something old in a new way.

Oh, I suppose Amos-n-Andy style racism couldn’t be made palatable anymore, but if you gave them Indian accents and made them convenience store clerks, I’ll bet a lot of people would laugh without thinking it was racist…

I’d also argue that Chris Farley’s very physical comedy and clumsiness was hilarious.

I’m only 21, but I can’t imagine an AIDS joke ever being funny.

Something that is no longer funny, a la Jon Stewart: Subliminable

Two Words: Night Court.

That show used to make me laugh and I have such fond memmories of it. So I tell my girlfriend (who hasn’t seen it) that she has to watch it, because some reruns are on.

After two episodes I found myself apologizing profusely. That show did NOT age well.

Oh well, I can still laugh at TAXI reruns.

Here’s a sure-to-be unpopular answer: Seinfeld. I used to love that show. Now it makes me cringe.

Things that used to be funny, but just aren’t funny anymore

All Your Base Are Belong To Us.

Seriously, racial humour and stereotypes have lost much of their fun - I’m thinking of black people, as portrayed in Gone With The Wind… kinda slow, kinda dumb… that’s just not funny and not acceptable.

The movie Red Dawn


fast food service in the town that I live

cat meat stir fry

my job

Charlie Brown

Night Court was never funny, just a product of low paid writers

the Jackson Five

While I’m at it: Mr Brady


sugar wafers

Dan Rather

before someone jumps down my throat for
the Mr Brady one. IT WAS NOT ABOUT HIS dying of aids.

as you were

Sugar wafers and the Jackson Five used to be FUNNY???

How about game show contestants humiliating themselves on TV? Back in the glorious days of black and white, shows like Beat the Clock and Truth or Consequences would feature water balloons, pie fights, etc. accompanied by gales of laughter from the studio audience. Now, of course, you can put dramatic music behind it and call it “reality TV” but nobody laughs.

Airport/airplane jokes? (“What’s the deal with airplane food?” and the like)

IMO, it was just a gratuitous excuse to show how nasty Will Ferrell’s butt really is. I mean, we all had our ideas, but this really took the guesswork out of it. Thanks a lot, SNL.