Why are some jokes funnier than others

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Why isn't that joke funny?

These days Egypt is divided into two groups. The first group supports the army while the second group supports the old president the army has removed.

I noticed that when a supporter of the army hears a funny joke about the army he doesn't laugh the same way a person who is against the army laughs. The opposite happens as well, those who support the old president Morsi usually don't find jokes about him that funny.

In fact both of those groups can find some really funny jokes totally annoying just because they go against their beliefs. When a joke goes against one of your core beliefs then you might actually find it less funny depending on how important that belief is for you.

But things aren't always that obvious. Sometimes you won't find a joke funny without actually knowing why your friends are laughing more than you.

Why are some jokes funnier than others

In order for a joke to appeal to you it mustn't only be funny but it must also support your important beliefs, confirm your thoughts and be aligned with your values.

A conservative person might not find an adult joke that funny compared to his liberal friends. Yes he might laugh at the joke but his mind will restrain the amount of laughter he will get. (see also The psychology of jokes)

Yesterday i was looking for jokes websites then a friend sent me 9Gag.com. While browsing the site i noticed that some of the jokes actually made me feel unhappy! The problem with most joke websites is that they don't send you customized jokes based on your tastes or beliefs.

A joke is like a code of information that your mind receives. This code is divided into two main ingredients, the humor part and the beliefs part.

If the beliefs part had higher weight than the humor part then this joke might either be extremely funny or totally annoying depending on the beliefs of the person who receives it. (see also How your beliefs and concerns affect your perception

How to make people laugh

I think you have already concluded that knowing more about the people you want them to laugh can be the key in helping you picking the right jokes. In case you know about some of the core beliefs of those people then a joke that will resonate with their beliefs will make them laugh so hard.

In case that those people were new to you then say jokes that are based on general beliefs that almost every have. The more generalized the beliefs your jokes support the more likley people will laugh at them.

Ever thought telling a joke was that complex?

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