Janet Sumner Johnson
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Where Does “Funny” Come From?


12, 2012 |

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In October I went to a conference where I had a
chance to participate in a critique group. After reading my piece, a member of
the group asked where my humor came from.

When I looked askance (great 3-point word, no?) at her, she
clarified her question. “For example, are your siblings funny? Your
parents? Where does your ability to be funny come from?”
I’d never really thought about humor as something that could
be transferred through DNA before. So I considered the question. And I mean,
sure my parents and siblings have their moments of funny, but I doubt any of
them could have a career as a comedian (Note: If any of you are reading this, I
didn’t mean that. You could totally have a career as a comedian. Just today I
heard about a prototype for pig-wings. ; ) You still love me, right?)
I think I uttered something about getting punchy at night,
but it does make one wonder. Where does a sense of humor come from? Is it
innate? Learned behavior? What do you think?

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