What really makes us laugh, and why? Most ancient philosophers argue that humor stems from scorn or malice and we can only laugh when feeling superior to others. While in theory I feel this has some truth to it, I tend to disagree.
Some of my favorite comedians are incredibly skilled at making fun of others (que SNL cast), however, I find them truly funny because of their ability to adapt in tough situations and poke fun at themselves. While it is occasionally funny to see someone fall out of their chair or a cat jump away from a cucumber, truly good humor makes you think about your own life and relates to you on a deeper level. Comedy that makes a real impact on me relates directly to my life. This can be as simple as jokes about broke college girls, my basic Starbucks order, or my texting addiction. The Incongruity Theory focuses on humor as a surprising act, you laugh when you see something unexpected, out of the box, challenging, or even something that shouldn’t be said because it is not appropriate. To me this theory makes the most sense. Why else would I find bad pirate puns and the movie Bridesmaids so funny?
Now why, you may ask yourself, is a random intern writing about her somewhat trivial and random theories on comedy? I believe that humor is an essential element to life, and I have learned quite a bit out it here at improve it! with Allie, Erin, and Jenna. My time in the office has been filled with joy, laughter, and smiles that really have nothing to do with superiority or malice. Jokes in our office usually start with accents, then turn into us acting out improv games or prank calling friends. Everyday at the office is a new adventure filled with humor and a whole lot of smiles. I believe having a smile on your face and enjoying going into work is essential to effectiveness, and I am extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to intern at improve it! and learn about how important it is to find a workspace where you feel comfortable laughing.
These past few months working at improve it! have shown me the value of loving what you are doing. In our little office it is impossible to have a bad day. Even when I come in with my coffee and morning bad attitude all it takes is a hug from Erin and a karaoke session with Allie to turn my mood around. This positive and happy work environment has shown me that laughter and smiling at work truly make you a happier person. I am incredibly thankful to the whole team for teaching me how to value my giggles and find a way to love what I do every day. Regardless of what some old Greek dude has to say, humor in this office is full of love.