If you tried to cargo cult John Cleese likely you would fail. You could try the script, the voice, the apparent mindset, but the truth is he is just funny. Without even really trying from his perspective.
He could try to teach you (coached cargo cult), show you the moves, give you the voice, but ultimately he has a bit of magic. Some of what he says isn’t even really funny …and it’s still funny.
He’s obviously thought a bit about this because he made some statements last night about how people laugh more about things that make them feel uncomfortable; that’s the dissonance laugh- the release of anxiety. Almost all humour must come from a mixture of:
1. A shared connection between brains (people like humour about things they understand)
2. An unexpected result your brain wasn’t thinking (this makes something extra funny)
3. A gentle push into an area where your brain feels uncomfortable (the key point being “gentle”)
The analysis of humour – jeez.
I reckon humour is best from someone you trust. Which is why people have their favourite comedians. And why famous comedians likely become very much loved as legends.
Also humour should therefore be able to tell you something about the unresolved parts of yourself. For example, I didn’t find Eric idles smutty humour funny at all. It’s juvenile to me. But that’s ok. If you did laugh though likely you have some repressed sex issues. And that’s not a criticism.
The thing I found funny was the use of intelligence as an illogical weapon. And the incredible brains they have for generating content and executing it. And the way John Cleese fakes getting exasperated because of a lack of understanding/intelligence. He said there’s nothing funnier than genuine stupidity. It’s sort of true.
A lot of it is done without too much analysis so who cares why it’s funny.
I have a feeling laugher is good medince not just because of the physical release though: I have a feeling it’s also a mental release of things trapped. If you can find what tickles you – watch it until it doesn’t any more.