Everyone else finds it funny, I don't...Why?

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anneurysm
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04 Jan 2013, 6:06 pm

I think the reason that many people on the spectrum don't find sitcoms funny is that a lot of it has to do with social situations and the ways they can go awry. Without having similar experiences with people or not realizing when situations are awkward, I can see why these jokes in these shows are lost for people on the spectrum.

But to each their own...you don't have to like these shows or have this sense of humor to have good friends, and it's possible that the OP and others in similar situations can bond with their friends in other ways. You don't have to have every single interest they have or laugh at every joke they make.

I never used to find sitcoms funny until I had plenty of experiences being around NTs who are into that sort of humor...in fact, I didn't understand them at all. Now I watch these shows quite a lot...and although I may not understand every single joke, there are some that I find pretty funny: especially some of the edgier shows like It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, which my boyfriend and I are currently watching. And for the record, I like Seinfeld. :)


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kotshka
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04 Jan 2013, 6:14 pm

Actually I love some sitcoms. How I Met Your Mother, Big Bang Theory... I grew up on Roseanne and Married with Children. I just never found Seinfeld or Friends or most other really popular sitcoms to be even remotely funny. I often wondered if they used some form of mind control to get people addicted which I was immune to by virtue of being a genius (this was pre-diagnosis).

For those of you inclined to take things literally, I am at least half-joking about that last part. ; D

Anyway, yeah, I think sense of humor is just different for everyone. Generally, I think NTs tend to find reasons to find things funny when they are expected to so as to fit in as much as possible (probably unconsciously most of the time) while those of us on the spectrum would generally never even think of pretending to like something we don't just to fit in better with society.



tchek
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04 Jan 2013, 9:09 pm

I don't get Seinfeld, Southpark and Friends, but I absolutely love the Simpsons.


Yuzu wrote:
It's just an individual thing. Like one's taste in music.


I disagree here.

Actually, both humor and cultural tastes are social things to a big extent. Laughing is partly a way to communicate and connect with people, to show affection or communion. Of course there are things you/we find genuinely funny (me=the Simpsons), but I think the "social humour" is what most aspies don't get, and Friends for exemple is a show that rely on that type of humor: "hey let's laugh because we are supposed to" with the suggestive laugh track.

As far as taste is concerned, well I'm in line with Bourdieu; basically that "taste" is earned and a social tool. Basically we love a band, partly for the music, partly for the social universe it conjures (we are often eager to meet people with similar tastes).

:)



Last edited by tchek on 04 Jan 2013, 10:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

rapidroy
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04 Jan 2013, 10:20 pm

kotshka wrote:
Humor is a very individual thing and science has yet to determine what "funny" actually means in a concrete way. The one thing I know for sure is that bandwagon mentality is very real. If a few people in a group find something funny, most of the other people will pretend to find it funny as well so as to fit in, even if they don't get the joke or think it's not funny at all.

In fact, I have a theory that there is a sort of "placebo" humor effect. I've noticed that certain things are funny to me only when other people are present and laughing with me. Perhaps the expectation of humor is enough to make me laugh even if, when I watch something alone, I don't even crack a smile.

One other thing I know with absolute certainty after writing my university honors program thesis on satire years ago: the most surefire way to make something unfunny is to try to analyze why it is funny.


I think you maybe on to something as most sitcoms/comedy shows use a laugh track recorded in the studio for some reason. I have taken part in such tapings for the CBC's Red Green Show and Rick Mercer Report if you know them. RMR uses cue cards at times.



Rascal77s
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04 Jan 2013, 10:42 pm

I don't find seinfeld or any TV show of that type funny but I do find southpark and the simpsons very funny. In fact Southpark is one of my favorite forms of entertainment. I've thought of it as strange before because seinfeld type shows are basically the same concept as southpark. They use outrageous situations for comedy. I guess the real difference for me is that with one it's outrageous situations revolving around a character or interpersonal relationship while the other uses outrageous situations to highlight an idea or object.



Chloe33
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08 Jan 2013, 11:47 am

DiscardedWhisper wrote:
If there's one thing I don't understand about people is how they seem to collectively find things funny that I find not funny. It's not that the humor is lost on me, or that the joke doesn't make sense. It just registers in my brain as unamusing, then I look around and see a whole room of people laughing themselves silly and I'm left feeling confused as to why. Then there are situations where the opposite happens, where an anecdote will strike me as humorous completely out of the blue and no one else will get it and I find myself gifted with bizarre looks from all sides.

One big example of this would be Seinfeld. It isn't funny to me, it's never funny to me. Nothing that they do on the show strikes me as humorous. Yet everyone thinks the show is a laugh riot. Then they can't understand why I'm not laughing and I'm left feeling awkward and weird...

Then again, this is pretty much formulae for every instance of my life, but for now we'll just concentrate on humor.


I feel you on this one, i hate Seinfeld it is so boring i don't see what humans like about it, yet alot of NTs seem to love it.
When it comes to jokes and humor type things, nothing makes me laugh, i don't see anything funny about it.
As for those opposite situations you mention- i can completely identify with that happening, that happens to me sometimes.
The one time it was their bizarre stares that i found hilarious (this incident was when i was 6 years old in religion class staring out the window singing madonna like a prayer out loud (i didn't realize what i was doing) so when i looked up the entire class and teacher are just staring at me jaw dropped so i cracked up laughing =)



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08 Jan 2013, 1:03 pm

invisiblesilent wrote:
I don't find Seinfeld nor nearly any other sitcom funny. I mean I actually find them completely, 100% devoid of humour. The one that puzzles me the most is Friends. How on earth is that one of the most successful sitcoms of all time? How on earth did the stars of that show manage to launch successful acting careers as a result of being in it. It is NOT FUNNY. Like NOTHING funny actually happens. I really don't understand and I totally share the OP's sense of puzzlement.


Friends, to me, has not only never been funny whatsoever, but it has also had one of the worst theme songs ever imaginable.



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08 Jan 2013, 2:57 pm

I have difficulty with humor that involves people being embarrassed or humiliated. I'm like "what a horrible thing to have happen" and my kids will go "Mom, you're not supposed to take it seriously" or "You're not supposed to feel sorry for that character". That seems to be what a lot of sitcom humor is.

I like absurdity and satire and wordplay. Monty Python, BlackAdder, P.G. Wodehouse, Terry Pratchett, Get Fuzzy, and xkcd are some things I find humorous.



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08 Jan 2013, 3:26 pm

I tend to like sitcoms and stand up comedy, and comedy in general, I suppose. I have a multitude of random quotes from tv shows, movies, comedians, etc. that I insert into random conversations, and I think I'm a riot. The references tend to elude most people, and then I get to explain exactly who or what character said it, on what show it was from, and what was going on when it was said. I greatly enjoy the act of explaining this to people, and my husband can actually tell now when I'm quoting something whether he gets the reference or not. He, also, makes a point of asking me what the quote was from if he didn't get it so I get the joy of explaining it to him; he's awesome. I have done this since I was little.



windtreeman
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08 Jan 2013, 3:51 pm

I actually find Seinfeld hilarious (though it took YEARS of watching the show with my family before I really 'got it') but haven't laughed at an episode of the Simpsons since I was a little kid. Friends is a terrible show, agreed! I also really enjoyed The Office...haven't given any of the current popular comedies more than a few minutes of my time, so I can't comment on those. What the OP described happens most often to me in theaters (on those rare occasions) and especially noticeably, while watching The Avengers. There were so many unfunny quips that the entire theater laughed at excessively. I'd like to think that my sense of humor requires some sort of intelligent basis but I loved and still love the slapstick in Home Alone ;).


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08 Jan 2013, 4:30 pm

Love sienfeld.
Hate friends.

The office- I dunno. Havent had the patience to sit through an episode long enough to really give it a try-just doesnt grab me.

Been in comedy clubs ( gotten on stage and performed myself a few times) when the crowd is 50-50 Black and White when a black comic will say something - and every black in the place explodes into uproarius laughter - and every white (including me) just looks around and looks befuddled.

Some jokes only women 'get' and not men.
Probably vice versa.

Different subsets of people in society laugh at different things.

Its not necessarily an aspie vs nt thing. But-then again -sometimes it is.



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08 Jan 2013, 5:05 pm

I find southpark funny because I live there. I find odd things funny like the movie Fargo some parts are just funny to me that most people do not.


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08 Jan 2013, 5:41 pm

Seinfeld?
Funny?
Since when? 8O

I still think the worst sitcom is:
Two And A Half Man

The only show I like is That 70s Show (the presentation of those 70s clishés and the presentation of drug trips from the point of view of those who took it in that show somehow fit my humour) and the only one that I think is acceptable (makes me smirk and sometimes giggle) is Frasier.

I have the same problem with that kind of "average" humour. I think the average person thinks such a show is funny because of the laughter played in the background (I hate that actually, it's annoying). They will laugh because they hear others laugh and because they expect humour in that show. Just a guess though.

I often force myself to laugh when I'm among people watching some movie/show, but I am just slightly amused. Makes me seem less weird - but of course, this is way more tiring than just not laughing. :?

If I really think something is funny and actually start laughing, I have a hard time to stop that and to suppress that. NTs seem to be able to stop laughing after a short time but I keep laughing for at least twice as long. I often remind myself unintentionally of what made me laugh and this just makes it worse, a teacher once even asked me if I did that on intention and another time I got asked if I felt the need to get out of the room, although in both cases I was trying to suppress it and was giggling all the time...


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08 Jan 2013, 6:11 pm

It isn't a thing.

Sense of humour varies from one to the next. Only difference between us and them is that we don't feel such a strong need to fake it... though I do have to tone down my amusement when I find something funny. I only find things funny if just about everyone else finds it tragic / offensive.



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08 Jan 2013, 6:21 pm

Sylvastor wrote:
Seinfeld?
Funny?
Since when? 8O

I still think the worst sitcom is:
Two And A Half Man


You are absolutely correct. To me also, that is the worst one. Like Friends, it was not only not funny, but also, it had one of the worst theme songs imaginable.



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08 Jan 2013, 9:58 pm

kotshka wrote:
Humor is a very individual thing and science has yet to determine what "funny" actually means in a concrete way. The one thing I know for sure is that bandwagon mentality is very real. If a few people in a group find something funny, most of the other people will pretend to find it funny as well so as to fit in, even if they don't get the joke or think it's not funny at all.

In fact, I have a theory that there is a sort of "placebo" humor effect. I've noticed that certain things are funny to me only when other people are present and laughing with me. Perhaps the expectation of humor is enough to make me laugh even if, when I watch something alone, I don't even crack a smile.

One other thing I know with absolute certainty after writing my university honors program thesis on satire years ago: the most surefire way to make something unfunny is to try to analyze why it is funny.


This makes a lot of sense, it would explain why watching The Big Bang Theory with the accompanying laughing audience is hilarious while watching it with the laughter removed definitely detracts from the humour, it's as if laughter and humour are somehow contagious, maybe you're just immune.


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