Humor is descried as the mental ability or tendency to make someone laugh or be amused. It is universal and all people regardless of age, ability or race respond to it. People who easily respond to provocation of laughter are considered to have a good sense of humor. A sense of humor is described as a measure of one’s tendency to experience humor.
The extent of an individual’s amusement depends on a number of variables such as culture, age, intelligence, education, maturity or even geographical location. Adults and children may for example derive amusement from very different things; children may find cartoons and clowns more amusing than ‘stand up’ comedy for example while educated adults may find comedy highly entertaining. Satire is more particular because it is based upon a proper understanding of the target of the humor and may only be interesting and entertaining to a mature and probably educated audience. As expected, humor varies widely in terms of acceptance depending on the above mentioned demographics. Comedy and humor have been used since time immemorial as a form of entertainment in both casual and official settings including courts and tribunals.
Intelligence and wit are sometimes displayed using means that bring out humor in satire and comedy. Often, the sense of humor is looked as beauty and it’s therefore safe to say that ‘how much sense of humor one has lies in the eyes of the beholder’; one person may find another to have a great sense of humor while another could find the same personal overly obnoxious. Based on this, some people argue that you only find someone to have a great sense of humor if your senses of humor are similar or agree. Humor can be used in many disciplines including education, medicine and even political science. Young children are taught new things and ideas using humor and repetition.
A good example is Teletabies; a children’s show where cartoon characters are used to teach children while entertaining them with some humor. This has proved a successful means of teaching as they children are actively involved in the learning while having fun at the same time. Humor can also be a means of stress relieve and relaxation.
Scientists say that a simple happy gesture like a smile goes a long way in ensuring sound mental and even physical health. A good afternoon of laughter while watching a family sitcom is said to be enough to rejuvenate the body and improve mental health (Mikisi, 2005). Politicians with a good sense of humors have historically been successful in pulling large crowds and using their wit to woo the many present voters. A simple political statement put in a humorous way is more likely to be spread further, by word of mouth or otherwise, while a flat statement will likely leave no memories at all. The same tactic is used by preachers and priests to pull crowds and make activates that are otherwise considered boring lively and fun. The sense of humor is therefore very important in everyone’s day to day life even if just for happiness, joy and mental well being.
(2005).The art of laughter. Nairobi: Macmillan Publishers.