oppn parties Men Overestimate Their Ability To Tickle The Funny Bone

News Snippets

  • In reply to a question in Parliament, the government says it is empowered to lawfully intercept, monitor or decrpyt information stored in a computer resource in the interest of sovereignty or integrity of India
  • Police stop a 12-year old girl on her way to the Sabarimala shrine
  • In Karnataka, the JD(S) indicates that it might support the BJP government if it falls short of numbers after the bypolls
  • Congress pips the BJP in local body elections in Rajasthan, winning 961 wards to the BJPs 737
  • After Airtel and Vodafone-Idea, Jio also indicates that tariffs will be raised from December
  • Sources in Shiv Sena say that they might revive the alliance with the BJP if it offers the 50:50 deal
  • A miffed Sanjay Rout of the Shiv Sena says that it will take "100 births" to understand Sharad Pawar
  • Mobile operators Vodafone-Idea and Airtel decide to raise tariffs from next month
  • Sharad Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi and says more time needed for government formation in Maharashtra
  • Justice S A Bobde sworn in as the 47th Chief Justice of India
  • Supreme Court holds hotels liable for theft of vehicle from their parking area if parked by valet, says "owner's risk" clause is not a shield from such liability
  • Finance Minister says she is receiving feedback from many sectors that recovery is happening as there is lower stress
  • Sabarimala temple opens, but police bar the entry of women below 50 years
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says Air India and BPCL to be sold off by March
  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
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Men Overestimate Their Ability To Tickle The Funny Bone

By Linus Garg

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Linus tackles things head-on. He takes sides in his analysis and it fits excellently with our editorial policy. No 'maybe's' and 'allegedly' for him, only things in black and white.

Laughter, they say, is the best medicine. But the recent study published in Psychology Today that says that men are funnier than women is not going to make many laugh. It is insolent to pass judgment on such matters because being funny is a subjective thing. The listener to a joke has to be intelligent enough to understand it to consider it funny. If men do their 'bro' thing before a largely male audience, they would definitely invite more laughter than if the same jokes were presented before a predominantly female audience.

Being funny and inducing laughter is no one's exclusive preserve. It is only subject to the ability of the person to connect with his audience. Hence, a joke about Donald Trump might not get any laughs in rural India while a Haryanvi joke would fall flat before an audience in London that has few Indians in attendance. To be funny, a person needs to understand the intelligence level and social and cultural preferences of his or her audience. After that, it does not matter if the joke is uttered by a male or a female.

Ample evidence that men are funnier is not true is provided in family gatherings in India. It is often seen that while the men nurse their drinks and indulge in business gossip, it is the women who provide the laughs. One has seen tais, kakis, mamis, bhuas and bhabhis bring the house down with their witty responses to situations and their timely one-liners. They are second to none when it comes to being funny. Only, they get lesser opportunities in a patriarchal society.

The other evidence is the increasing number of female stand-up comedians. In what was till recently an exclusive male preserve, women are breaking in and grabbing the spotlight in large numbers worldwide. In cinema too, although backed by the script and dialogues, female actors are proving their mettle as fine comedians with unparalleled comic timing. Men, like the author of the above study, Dr. Gil Greengross, perhaps overestimate their ability to tickle the funny bone.