Scott Adams is giving away all his secrets:
The core of humor is what I call the 2-of-6 rule. In order for something to be funny, you need at least two of the following elements:
- Cute (as in kids and animals)
- Recognizable (You’ve been there)
I invented this rule, but you can check for yourself that whenever something is funny it follows the rule. And when something isn’t, it doesn’t.
I recently read Comedy Writing Secrets by Mel Helitzer, who had a similar theory about humour (or as you Americans spell it, humor). His is the rule of THREES. The more of the following that a joke contains, the funnier it’ll be:
- Target: the butt of the joke
- Hostility: works best if directed at somebody superior to the audience
- Realism: be believable
- Emotion: get people involved
- Exaggeration: but not too much
- Surprise: otherwise known as the punch line
The two theories are completely different, but both seem plausible when you think about it. So what’s your theory on what’s funny?