* * Daddy, mommy says you’re funny.
— Why that’s really nice of her.
** But I told her “daddy doesn’t want to be funny. He wants to be smart”.
— Funny people are smart. You can’t be funny without being smart.
** But you’re not funny most of the time.
— Funny people are wise. They know when to joke around and when not to. If you try to be funny all the time then you’re just a jack… then you’re just silly.
** But you can’t be funny. You’re always angry.
— Funny people are angry people. They get angry over what others take for granted. They get angry when others don’t get angry.
** You’re always sad too. Can funny people be always sad?
— Funny people are usually sad. They’re sad and angry because they care.
** I have a tough friend at school who sometimes makes fun of other kids. Is he funny?
— There’s no fun in poking fun at those weaker than you.
** If I’m funny, will people like me?
— Probably not. They might say you’re too rude. They might even call you a traitor.
** What’s a traitor?
–Someone who is not loyal to a cause or an idea.
** Whose cause and idea?
–That’s just the way it is. If you’re funny you’re critical. If you’re critical then you refuse to conform. Then you challenge everyone else.
** I like being challenged.
— Because you’re smart.
** So being funny is cool?
— Umm, no. Not really.
** How come?
–Because when you say “cool” I think you mean “popular”. Funny people are not popular because they make fun of trends.
— Things that most people will claim they like because someone on television told them they should.
** So funny people don’t have that many friends?
— They have fewer friends, by design, and by consequence.
** What can funny people do best?
— Funny people are good at a whole lot of things.
** Are they the best at anything?
— I don’t think so.
** But I want to be the best at whatever I do.
–If you take yourself too seriously you won’t be funny.
** Maybe I don’t want to be funny then.
— Good for you. You’ll probably end up with a great career. You’ll be very successful if you take yourself seriously enough.
** But you said you like being funny. So you don’t want a successful career?
— No. I just want to be comfortable, and content.
** I’m not sure I want to be funny anymore.
— Trust me. Being funny is good. Funny guys end up with the funny girls, and the funny girls are the best.
** Is mommy funny?
** I’ll go tell her you said that about her.
You might enjoy reading The Atlantic’s piece on the psychology of humour.