Kate Gale: A Mind Never Dormant

What does it mean to have no sense of humor?


December 12, 2012

Some people don’t laugh much even if there is something to laugh about. Others seem to be chuckling to themselves all the time. “Sometimes,” Arthur says in the movie to explain his constant laughing to himself, “I just think funny things.” People who are able to laugh at themselves are a lot more fun to be around because you feel they don’t take themselves too seriously so you don’t need to either.

Some people are always laughing and finding stuff to laugh about. They watch Tom and Jerry, they love comedies, they go to comedy shows, they like to laugh.

People with Asperger Syndrome for example, often have no sense of humor and don’t laugh at themselves. They don’t laugh much at all.

Asperger Syndrome often means:

Rage, tantrum, shutdown, self-isolating reactions appearing “out of nowhere”
Substantial hidden self-anger, anger towards others, and resentment

Low to no apparent sense of humor; bizarre sense of humor (often stemming from a “private” internal thread of humor being inserted in public conversation without preparation or warming others up to the reason for the “punchline”)


But lots of people have no sense of humor. And why should they? It’s easy to believe the world is out to get you. Look in the mirror. Do you look amazing? Have you won any major prizes lately? Do you have a nice cushy job in academia? Do people just push themselves into street lamps to get a look at you? No? Well, then the world must be out to get you.

Or maybe you don’t think the world is out to get you but you just don’t laugh at anything. You’re not a laugher.

Don’t expect people to like this. We like people who laugh. It makes us feel we can let down our guard. We are more comfortable with people we can laugh with. Think about it like this. Bush got voted over the far more intelligent Kerry mostly because people thought Kerry was too smart, maybe smarter than the average American, god forbid. (That didn’t take much.) So they wanted someone stupid who you could sit around and get a good laugh with. Or at.

Americans aren’t comfortable with people who are more intelligent than they are especially if that someone is a woman. That’s why Hillary scares so many men. She’s smarter than they are and we can’t have that.

If people who don’t laugh are tedious, dumb people are more so. But if you’re around people who are very intellectual and smart all the time, you need some sleep. I like having a variety of friends—some very intellectual, some not. “Come on, now, be honest. Which one of you wouldn’t rather listen to his hairdresser than hercules? Or Horatius or Orpheus? People so lofty, They sound as if they shit marble.” Mozart asks in Amadeus. He may have a point there.