Humour – where DOES it come from?

In deep sleep I dreamt up a joke: the joke made me laugh out loud – so loud, that I woke myself up!

In the morning the joke still seemed quite good, so I shared it with work colleagues. They all laughed out loud as well!

Then I forgot the joke . . . . . . . . . .

Later on I could recall that I’d dreamt up a joke but, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t recall the joke itself.

Then one day in the bathroom I was listening to a radio programme in which someone was saying that Sigmund Freud reckoned that laughter was our way of dealing with stuff we didn’t really want to deal with, or unpleasant stuff – and that reminded me of the joke!

(The picture is of a scary lead mask, decorating the roof of a Japanese temple.)

So here is the dreamt up joke – with apologies in advance, as it does have a high ‘groan’ factor:

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Did you hear the one about the bloke who couldn’t say “toilet”?

He could only say “toilette”! (ie with a French accent.)

It turned out that the reason he could only say “toilette”, was because he suffered from Irritable Vowel Syndrome . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Recently we have celebrated the life of Humphrey Littleton, whose chairing of the Radio 4 programme “I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue” was shear magic.

A recent radio clip recorded Humph’ speaking of meeting a man who described himself as “an orthinologist”. Apparently Humph’s great disappointment was that he did not realise until the next day that he should have replied “So you’re a ‘Word Botcher’ then.”

This is an astonishing feat of creativity, as “Word Botcher” is both:
• an accurate description of what the man had done in creating the term “orthinologist”; and
• a phonetic spoonerism of “Bird Watcher” (having a meaning in parallel with the intended term “ornithologist”.)

It’s interesting that this complex idea didn’t come to Humph’ until the next day – after a night’s sleep.

Perhaps humour, our sub-conscious, and creativity, are all connected?

What do you think?


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8 Responses to “Humour – where DOES it come from?”

  1. MP Says:

    Yes..I did groan..but it was funny!
    I’d like to think that I laugh even when I don’t have more unpleasant things on my mind that I’m trying to ignore.. I laugh because I’m happy or amused.

  2. Karen Says:

    Very funny! So true about our subconscious and our creativity being connected too.

  3. terri Says:

    Yes, that was a groaner, but pretty impressive that your subconscious came up with it. Nothing I dream makes any sense whatsoever!

  4. Tony Says:

    Love the Irritable Vowel joke

  5. Kimberly Says:

    I do think they are all connected, but I’d like to give the human brain the benefit of the doubt and say we are able to laugh at things besides our sub-conscious thoughts.

    That’s funny you made a joke in your dream… I can rarely recall my dreams and if I do they are some sort of nightmare.

    Good post! kudos!

  6. leftoverkumquats Says:

    It’s your fault that you mentioned Freud and then featured a picture of a statue which my mind (for a split second) thought was phallic.

  7. brainteaser Says:

    Creating a joke in your dream? And a funny one at that! Wow…

    I laugh when I am amused.

    Sometimes, I also laugh when I am in a middle of a difficult situation and I see something so funny about it… or trying to find something funny in it.

  8. Bookmarks about Humour Says:

    […] – bookmarked by 2 members originally found by MissMarissaHaro on July 17, 2008 Humour – where DOES it come from? – bookmarked by 3 […]

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