My alleged humor has always been the subject of questions. Years ago, I defended myself, “I find it funny. That’s all that matters.” I have since learned the error of my ways: not every sad thing can be redeemed with a joke.
The Bible tells us that the wise are often troubled. And yet, I know humor used rightly is a gift and can serve as a healing agent. Still, I have fallen on the tendency to make a joke of everything to avoid deep feelings of pain.
I started thinking about this today when I came across videos of Big Bang Theory and Full House minus the laugh track. We already knew Full House wasn’t funny but it was even more grueling to watch this way. Big Bang Theory remained partially amusing though the pause in between jokes was suddenly more obvious.
The problem is the joke’s aren’t funny. They shouldn’t even be called jokes. The laugh track attempts to distract viewers from picking up on poor storytelling.
I was put-off when an older student once told me that humor and chronic depression routinely go hand in hand. Yet, I knew it was true. I created my own laugh track of sorts to distract myself from the parts of a story I didn’t like. It worked for awhile but the nasty side effect is becoming insensitive of other people.
The following four clips have been edited to include canned laughter and upbeat theme music to otherwise dramatic material. Take note of the awkwardness and inappropriateness in these situations. The last one is REALLY not funny, but quite unsettling.