Just For Laughs
Copyright © 1998 by Thomas More. All rights reserved.
Is there any humor on the World Wide Web? You bet your laugh there is. If you've never looked for it, you've missed a number of Web sites that are chuckle-full of laughter, you might say. The information medium is a natural for humor, which depends upon the telling. Like love, humor is best enjoyed when it is shared with another. It's even better with a worldwide audience. Humor, that is.
So where do you find humor on the Web? Well, my search for "humor" using Alta Vista's search engine yielded over three million Web pages with the word "humor" in their titles. They suggested that I refine my search by searching for a particular kind of humor. There are various kinds of humor, of course, and some of them may be offensive to those of refined taste. A collection of various types of humor can be found at The Humor Database, which has some "PG" and "R"-rated humor, the latest in Bill-and-Monica stories, and the type of office jokes that evoke a groan as often as a laugh.
On the other hand, if you like your humor really gross, you can go to SNOT.com, where they have bizarre pictures guaranteed to gross you out. What can I tell you about this kind of humor? One person's laugh is another's frown, so don't say I didn't warn you. For another site with ratings from "G" to "X," visit The Humor Space, which offers the usual Bill-and-Monica jokes, as well as a variety of funnies.
If your interest in humor is a bit more "arty" than what you found at SNOT.com, you might wish to check out Arts and Humor, which bills itself as "An art magazine, a humor magazine." However, you can access more bizarre images if you click on "Dallas Cowboys Naked?" but where on the World Wide Web can you find humor that's not off-color, or off the sensibility scale? Let's search for some real nice humor, shall we?
America Online (AOL) has its own search engine, called AOL Netfind, which found over 200,000 Web sites with the word "humor" in their titles. One is called HumorSearch.com, which offers a joke-of-the-day, selected from reader's submissions, and a "vault" of archived humor. If you're an AOL subscriber, you might wish to check "SandySam's" humor page at AOL. Once you sign up with one of these purveyors of junk-mail jokes, you'll get lots of humor in your email inbox. I'm not sure how I got on some of these mailing lists, but I have recently received some humor from "Harry's Humble House of Humor & Hedonistic Hilarity," or "6H" for short. Personally, I enjoy word-humor most, I suppose because I work with words. Here's a sample from Harry's. Sorry it's a Bill-and-Monica joke, but they're leading the humor parade these days (the jokes, that is, not Bill-and-Monica).
"Hollywood has already made a movie about the Clinton affair. It is rumored to be already completed. All that is left is to figure out the title of the movie. Here are some candidates for the title:
* Prince of Ties
* The Bad News Bares
* Dumb and Dumber Two
* Lady and the Tramp
* The Hoarse Whisperer
* Dial M for Monica
* Easy Liar
* All the President's Women
* The Lying King
* President Dolittle
* Terms of Impeachment
* All's Well That Ends
* The Wizard of Odds
* Hip, Hip, Beret
* The Six Commandments
* Nightmare on Pennsylvania Avenue
* Neither an Officer Nor A Gentleman
* The Full Monica
* President on a Hot Tin Roof
* Red Faced in October
* Honey, I Shrunk the Presidency
* The Me Lie Massacre
* Bedtime for Bubba"
For something other than Bill-and-Monica jokes, here's a site which seems to have a shred of intelligence along with a subject index of various categories of humor. This site is part of Planet Wingate, which has the .org extension in its URL. That means it's a recognized organization of a public-service and/or non-profit nature. Well, spreading humor to the masses is a public service, as much as religion or politics, isn't it?
Now if you want to get serious about your humor, The Humor Project is a serious, almost academic effort on the part of Dr. Joel Goodman, who is collaborating on a sequel with the authors of Chicken Soup for the Soul. Since 1977, The Humor Project has been a leading organization focusing on the positive power of humor and creativity. This is a serious effort to employ humor to boost productivity, creativity--and Dr. Goodman's pocketbook. Even if you're not interested in attending a seminar, it's nice to know someone is putting humor to work.
Here's a little test of your hilarity threshold. Keep track of how many of the following one-liners you find amusing (slight smile), and those at which you laugh audibly. If any of them have you rolling on the floor (ROF) or more, you've passed the test already!
* All those who believe in psychokinesis raise my hand.
* The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
* I almost had a psychic girlfriend but she left me before we met.
* OK, so what's the speed of dark?
* How do you tell when you're out of invisible ink?
* If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.
* Support bacteria--they're the only culture some people have.
* Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.
* When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.
* Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy.
* Hard work pays off in the future. Laziness pays off now.
* Everyone has a photographic memory. Some just don't have film.
* Shin: a device for finding furniture in the dark.
* Many people quit looking for work when they find a job.
* I intend to live forever--so far, so good.
* If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?
* Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
* 24 hours in a day...24 beers in a case...coincidence?
* Dancing is a perpendicular expression of a horizontal desire.
* When I'm not in my right mind, my left mind gets pretty crowded.
* Boycott shampoo! Demand the REAL poo!
* Who is General Failure and why is he reading my hard disk?
* What happens if you get scared half to death twice?
* I used to have an open mind but my brains kept falling out.
* I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.
* Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?
* If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.
* If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
* A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.
* Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
* For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.
* No one is listening until you make a mistake.
* Success always occurs in private, and failure in full view.
* The colder the X-ray table, the more of your body is required to be on it.
* The hardness of the butter is proportional to the softness of the bread.
* The severity of the itch is proportional to the reach.
* Two wrongs are only the beginning.
* You never really learn to swear until you learn to drive.
* The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard.
* Monday is an awful way to spend 1/7th of your life.
Okay, here's the score: Give yourself one point for each one you smiled at, and three points for those when you made any noise (laughing). If you're reading this at your job, quit laughing--the people in the cubicles around you are beginning to wonder. If you scored over 40, your sense of humor is alive and well. If you scored between 20-39, you need more humor in your life. If you scored less than 20, you've just about lost your sense of humor, and you'd better apply for a new one so you can start laughing again.
Well, the answer to my question seems to be a resounding YES; there is more humor on the Web than you could read in your lifetime. Like any type of information, there is more than you can use. The trick is to separate the wheat from the chaff by narrowing your search to the particular type of humor that you enjoy. Then, when you find a Web site that tickles your fancy, set a bookmark and visit the site whenever you need a laugh. You might even be moved to contribute a favorite one-liner of your own, since most of these sites encourage submittals. Don't be discouraged by the number of Bill-and-Monica jokes at many of these sites. They will go away. The jokes, I mean. Do look for the kind of humor you appreciate. After all, laughter is like chicken soup for the soul, you know. And as soon as Dr. Goodman's new book comes out, we'll all have the recipe.
During the week, Thomas More writes rather technical stuff about business software, but on weekends he likes to loosen up a bit and write about WWWiz stuff.