As long as I can remember, I’ve hated watching people make fools of themselves. I was 6 when I found myself running out of the room during an episodes of “Lucy” in which she humiliates herself. It was too painful to watch. Rather than finding it funny, I feel humiliated myself. I can’t help but think how awful I’d feel if it were me.

Humiliation is a horrible feeling. It’s almost impossible to get past it, no matter how many years pass.


Humor that depends on making fun of people does not make me laugh. I love witty dialogue, literary allusion, puns. I love parody and cleverness. Except for some particularly loathsome villains who deserve whatever they get, I never want to see anyone humiliated. I hate cruelty, mental or physical and cannot watch it.

Not surprisingly, I was one of the kids who got teased and bullied. I was way too sensitive. 60 years later, I’m still too sensitive. Some things never change.

This hatred of seeing people humiliated is probably one of the reasons I so intensely dislike our so-called president. I have watched him deride and humiliate reporters, parents of deceased children, disabled people, women, senators, other politicians. It makes my stomach turn. I cannot begin to tell you how, even if he did nothing else I disliked, this behavior alone would make me loathe him.

I need decency and caring from people who are supposed to be running my country. I expect them to show dignity. I expect them to be able to speak our language properly. I expect them to have read a few books and understand the world of which they are supposedly in charge. I expect them to be people for whom I can show respect and maybe — imagine that — look up to.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

19 thoughts on “HOW FUNNY YOU SHOULD ASK”

    1. I remember when that horror of a press person they have made the reporters “say something nice” before they could ask a question. The rage on Garry’s face said it all. I felt shame that I live in this society.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I don’t find that kind of comedy very funny either and it is also the reason I can’t watch reality TV, well one of the reasons. Especially those weight loss shows. They make me so angry it is awful to use people’s personal issues to get ratings the way they do even if the folk on the shows agree to it. I think it is just cruel and humiliating the way they are treated.


    1. It makes me want to turn of the TV and run away. Awful, cruel humor …

      This was the subject of one of the “Orville” shows. They spent a full hour discussing why “that kind of humor” isn’t really funny and by the end of the show, no one thought it was funny. How can we expect our kids to show respect for others when we think that kind of cruelty is okay?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I never found anything remotely funny in the “awwww rickyyyyy” routines on I Love Lucy, and never much liked her, either. “The Honeymooners” left me cold and the humor escaped me there, too–there is nothing funny, at any level, with an overweight buffoon threatening his wife with a fist, and sneering at his best friend. Only reason i can figure people laughed at this, is nervous laughter. It struck too close to home.

    Sid Cesar and Imogene Coca. Believe it or not, the Carol Burnett Show. Many of the skits were “Mama’s Family” and for the life of me I could never understand the humor in that vicious wordplay. And game shows that trade on people’s self-worth: how debased can we get? How much embarrassment will one person go through for money?


    1. I’m glad it’s not just me. Practical jokes have never seemed funny to me and laughing at other peoples misfortunes really turns me off. I never watched most of the shows you list and I never understood why OTHER people thought they were so funny. Carol Burnett was sometimes hilarious, but it depended on the say. She at least did skits that were based on movies and stuff.

      I think I imagine myself in that place and know how horrible I’d feel … and I can’t imagine doing anything like that to someone else.

      I think a lot of people thought that was the way it was “supposed” to be … and it wasn’t really that way, not even then. But I could be wrong.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Not a big appreciator of most slapstick comedy with few exceptions.., no 3 Stooges and that includes going back as far as Charlie Chaplin. I prefer more cerebral forms of comedy. Don’t ask me why, but I have a soft spot for Laurel and Hardy. They always seemed rather harmless to me.., and hilarious to boot. Mom liked “I Love Lucy” but I had too many latin friends and colleagues to whom the humor was not appreciated, not to mention the macho thing underlying it.


      1. Garry’s not a fan of any of those, either, although I have come to appreciate Chaplin in recent years. He was politically very far ahead of his time and his work wasn’t slapstick and was sometimes, very touching. If you haven’t see his movie about Hitler (which essentially lost him his American citizenship because we were still making peace with Hitler), see if you can find it on one of the networks. SO apropos!


        1. OK, I’m open-minded and will check that Chaplin movie out. I guess I just grouped him in with all the buffoons. I’m cool with anyone who can manage to lose his/her citizenship.


          1. Chaplin was a genius. It’s called “The Great Dictator. ” It’s a 1940 American political satire comedy-drama film written, directed, produced, scored by and starring British comedian Charlie Chaplin.


  3. Not only does he humiliate people but he does it so publicly….almost as a point of pride. He does not know when to stop. It has gone from sickening to flat out embarrassing. Someone, anyone–make him stop!


    1. Nationally AND internationally. How the other nations must hate us! If the entire international community can’t make him stop, I doubt WE can.

      The sucking up and brown-nosing going on in the White House is too nauseating to watch at all. It makes my stomach churn.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t like that kind of humor either. I never have. I’ll also get up and leave the room if it comes on the squawk box. It’s why I hate slapstick comedy, which is mostly people getting hit and humiliated. I can’t watch it. It’s not funny to me.


    1. I think slapstick is the baby brother to early Vaudeville, with pig bladders, pies in the face. and honky horns. It’s on the low end of the funny spectrum, for sure. Martin and Lewis were masters of it on early TV, but I never laughed at them, either.

      Even kids programs like Pinky Lee (who often terrified me) and Howdy Doody were heavily slapstick oriented, and I never laughed but once, on the day Clarabelle Clown squirted Buffalo Bob in the face and judging from the reactions of the two of them, it was not scripted. I laughed until I was sick. Now THAT was funny. =)


  5. I feel the same way, Marilyn. That is why I really don’t like “reality TV”. A lot of those shows are quite abuse to the people in them.


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