“Two guys walked into a bar. One ducked.”
That’s a joke you’ll hear me use a lot when asked to tell one on the spot. It usually take people a minute or 2 to get it because it happens so quickly. It’s usually good for a chuckle and at least a rim-shot.
This joke is a classic example of ome aspect of good humor. It gets you thinking one way, then turns that on it’s ear and takes a whole new direction. It’s funny because we never saw this direction coming. We were focused on the logical progression we assume will come when we hear “Two guys walk into a bar…”
This closely relates to creativity. By bucking the norm and taking things in different direction, we look on a problem or situation with fresh eyes and a unique perspective which may give it new insight. No one said being creative had to be logical. In fact, it usually works better when you’re being illogical.
Speaking of being illogical, a great aspect of humor is when it relates two seemingly unrelated things. For example, take the following situation: death metal band goes to the supermarket. Just the visualization of that is funny. Going to the supermarket is something almost everyone in America does. Thinking about it and relating that concept to a death metal band makes it funny.
This can be an extremely helpful technique for utilizing creativity. It creates a concept that may only have a strand of relation, but coupled together makes a great idea. Try to think of these connections when your looking for a new idea for a problem or situation. Who knows, maybe you’ll come up with a magician’s hat you can drink beer out of.
Another way of being funny is by telling the truth. Great comedians are always able to show us the truth in our actions. They see the humor in things we can’t because we’re neck-deep in the situation. Taking a step back from these situations and looking at them objectively reveals the humor in them. Bill Cosby’s routine about drinking and what can result from it comes to mind.
Looking for the truth in a problem can go miles to helping you solve the problem creatively. By seeing the humor in a situation, you can not only laugh at it but begin to look at the situation for what it is. Seeing the situation with this new perspective can shed some light on how it can be different and how the problem can be solved.
Humor and the laughter it provides remove barriers in people’s thinking. When people are laughing and having a good time, they tend to let their guard down. Once they’re more comfortable, they begin sharing ideas they normally wouldn’t have shared had they not been laughing.
This is a great way to stimulate creativity. Creativity works best when there are few barriers. Removing these barriers allow you mind to think freely without constraints or considering the repercussions of the ideas you suggest. Sharing these thoughts help guide you in a creative direction.
Beer, along with humor, also reduces barriers to creativity. But that’s a whole other article.