The View from a Drawbridge

The random musings of a bridgetender with entirely too much time on her hands.

Humor Expires

The View from a Drawbridge

I used to know someone who would tell the same jokes and bad puns over and over and over again. They were funny the first time or two. But as the years went by they kind of got irritating. Then I started feeling sorry for him, because I’d see the looks on people’s faces when he’d trot out the same hackneyed quips.

I guess he figured that if they worked once, it was best to stick to the tried and true. But trust me: humor has an expiration date. Especially topical humor. I’m sure there were jokes about Abraham Lincoln, for example, but who would laugh at them now? And some humor stops being socially acceptable with time. (“I beat my wife up every morning. Ha!”)

The most annoying thing is that I can still hear him telling these stupid jokes in my head when the circumstances are right. That makes me grit my teeth. It’s like I’m stuck in a bad joke feedback loop and I can’t get free no matter how hard I try.

So here’s my advice for people who like to make others laugh: change your material frequently. The funniest people have creative minds. They are in the moment. They adapt to circumstances. If you stick to one never-changing routine, people will get sick of hearing it, whether they admit it to you or not. Predictable isn’t funny. Just saying.

old joke.jpg

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4 thoughts on “Humor Expires

  1. lyn sutton says:

    Jeez Barb, Didn’t have to do a new post to get me to stop. A simple direct “Not funny anymore”, would have sufficed. I’ll go away now…

  2. I have to agree. Humor is definitely one of those genres where you really have to keep it fresh. Nothing is more pitiful than hearing the same joke over and over and over again. I try to offer several different types of humor on my humor blog, blindseyeview.com to keep people on their toes. Stop by and check it out some time. 🙂

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