Isn’t it funny what’s not funny?

January 17, 2013 in Comment, General, Links

Ian Baker cartoon

Cartoon © Ian Baker @

Here’s a very funny cartoon. But why is it funny? Well, E.B. White famously said that “analysing comedy is like dissecting a frog; no one laughs and the frog dies”. So let’s not go there.

Instead, our eye was drawn to a blog post by the cartoonist Christian Adams, in which he simply provides a definitive list of what is funny and what is not funny.

Of course, you can still argue with it, and roll your eyes like Woody Allen in Crimes and Misdemeanours when Alan Alda opines: “If it bends, it’s funny. If it breaks, it isn’t”, but the important fact is that no amphibians were harmed during the making of this blog post.

And, even more importantly, you’ll find lots of cartoons that can definitely be classed as funny in the portfolios.

10 responses to Isn’t it funny what’s not funny?

  1. Not a bad list, though having just drawn an amusing cartoon about belts, I cannot wholeheartedly agree that braces are funnier.

    I drew an idea a while back with a similar funny/not funny theme…

  2. I don’t think its possible to say that any given situation/word/whatever is ALWAYS funny or unfunny.

  3. Anteaters of all types (including pangolins) are funny.  So are mudskippers.  Just by dint of them being them, and being there.

  4. Some forenames are inexplicably funny…(apologies to) Derek, Nigel, Norman, Beryl, Gladys, Sidney etc

  5. As are place names. Glossop. Goole. Peover.

  6. Some surnames are inexplicably funny too. I’ve just read some comments by two of them above – but which two? I’m the third.

  7. Funny place name: Piddletrenthide. Not funny place name: Sutton Coldfield

  8. I’ve always had a sneaking admiration for those saddled with a wonky surname who don’t change it. Adonis. Pidcock. Smellie. Crapper. And a large plain girl I used to teach called Dolores Fish.

  9. I believe that Mr Crapper leant his name to the subject to which his name has been leant, and thus shouldn’t be in your list Mr Stott, having been an innovatory plumber who much improved (though didn’t actually invent) the flushing toilet. He’s in the same league as Mr Biro and Mr Hoover. (I may be wrong, but I think that Mr Hoover’s greatest contribution to labour saving cleaning devices was to design one that would suck instead of blow.)

  10. Semantics, semantics, Mr Madden .My point was that if I’d inherited a name like that, I wouldn’t have  had the nerve to keep it. Or maybe its character building.

    My dad was a policeman. One of his station’s inspectors was called Ball. Inspector Ball. His first name – honestly – was Claude.

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