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Hyperion April 29, 2000

#6 "...So I can clearly not choose the glass in front of me!"

A couple of years ago I worked with Rusty, who had an interesting theory. He believed some things were always funny, as opposed to those that were only funny in certain situations. His Funny-for-Life item? Two fingers behind someone’s head to make rabbit ears. Rusty was a mild-mannered, thoughtful guy who seemed normal by all accounts. Yet, at any and every opportunity he would give friends, supervisors and traveling nuns rabbit ears and find great humor in this activity. One time I saw him outside by himself, unaware I was watching. There being no one to give the rabbit ears to, Rusty gave it to himself. That is a true believer.

Rusty got me to thinking about sometimes funny always funny, or, Eternally Funny, as I have now coined the term. Some things may be funny, but not in every situation. Have you seen the beer commercial with the guys talking on the telephone? Whaazzzuuuuuuuuuuuuup! I think that it is funny and I enjoy saying it with my friends, coworkers, probation officer, etc. However, if I was going to funeral home to comfort my friend who had just lost his sister my greeting might not be rewarded with as much hilarity.

Other situations are only funny if you were there to experience them. We all know about these. Perhaps more importantly, we have all listened to someone try to tell us about something that happened to them, barely able to get the words out as they choke with laughter, and we find it about as funny Germans doing comedy.

Here is where Eternally Funny can be of some use to us. I think that if folks were a little more aware of what will translate to the telling six years later and what might best be left for the participants involved, the world would be a much better place. And I am all about taking over saving the world. Below I have listed twenty-six items for your consideration. Look at them and try to decide if they are Eternally Funny or not. Some might have been funny once, just not now. The “Where’s the Beef” lady of Wendy’s commercials in the early ‘80s would be a good example. Others might be generational. “Amos and Andy” or “Friends” would fit the bill here. Several, though, are Eternally Funny. To help you I have put the list in code. Take the letters of the selections that you think are Eternally Funny and rearrange them and you will come up with someone that is Eternally Funny.

A. Puff the Magic Dragon

B. David Letterman’s Top 10 Lists

C. The Marx Brothers

D. Elephant Jokes

E. Watching the facial expressions of someone who cannot stand sour food forced to eat something extremely sour.

F. Man getting hit in the groin with football

G. Clowns at the circus

H. Someone stealing your fries

I. The Dick Van Dyke Show

J. Bill Clinton at a Press Conference

K. Daffy Duck

L. M*A*S*H

M. The Gap commercials

N. Dogs wearing clothes

O. Foreign Policy

P. Gilligan’s Island

Q. The Holocaust

R. Yogi Bear

S. The Princess Bride

T. An ice skater falling down during a routine

U. Charlie Brown

V. Saturday Night Live

W. The Simpsons

X. Robin Williams

Y. Dancing Midgets

Z. French People

I would like to point out that I was using situational humor in this list. The Holocaust is not normally considered a real knee slapper, but when inserted into a list of things that are potentially always funny, there is a level of humor there, in a semi-ironic sense. Anyone who gets the answer wins prizes and non-equity stock in Home Depot. Go forth and be funny.

April 29, 2000


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