Aspergers on I am not sure I understand comedy

Posted: January 9, 2013 in aspergers, comedy, entertainment
Tags: , ,

That is a really weird confession to be making after doing stand-up for over three-years but I really am not sure whether I get comedy or not. There have been times when another performer has told jokes and the audience has loved them and yet due to being to literal I am left scratching my head, why what I just watched went over so well. For example, another local comedian has this joke where he does an impression of the Canadian flag. Every single time he has done the joke the audience has absolutely adored it. I on the other hand was waiting for the traditional set-up followed by a punchline. My literal brain is like that does not look at all like a flag, why is so funny? I have over time become a fan of the joke just because it is so goofy and fun but on the other hand I really did not get it. There have been countless jokes told in the local community or that I have seen on television that have left me scratching my head on what was so darn funny about what I had just seen.
This trait is not exclusively about others, however, as there are jokes that I tell that still leave me unsure why the joke went over so well with the audience. For example, I have a joke about not being the smartest tool in the shed, which is an old metaphor, and then saying I am sort of like a rake. At the time it was simply a toss-away joke and I never gave it too much thought about why it was funny until it went over really really well. Therefore, I have told it over and over again and yet I still do not know why the joke is funny but keep using it because every time I have told it, the audience has seemed to love it. Really, I like many people with Aspergers am too literal minded which has got in the way of my having written many more jokes at this point than I currently have. On the other hand the pure randomness of how I view the world and the things that confuse me is devoured by the crowd as hilarious. This is not something I can count on, however, because when I go up with the strategy of just talking about my confusion about life and it does not follow any kind of stand-up pattern this strategy often backfires as the crowd does not enjoy it.
All of this simply leaves me with the realization, that I in fact do not know how stand-up comedy works. I enjoy stand-up comedy but I don’t truly understand it. Therefore, sort of keep it at an arms-length distance, which is the same relationship that I have with the rest of the world created by NTS.

  1. byamtich says:

    I face a similar challenge; I can often bring a room of people to the floor laughing, but it isn’t necessarily when I expect it. I am also laughed at when people take in my confusion. I walk a fine line between confident and vulnerable self-awareness and self-deprecating embracing of my ridiculousness. Whether people laugh or not, I bet every time you speak with courage it contributes to acceptance of self and other. Do people have to have shared experiences to laugh? Would it be easier for you to make an audience of Aspies laugh? I think it would be easier to make NTs laugh, although I, like you, can’t always predict what will reach them.

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