The spontaneous chuckle erupting out of you requires creativity, attuned observation skills and precise timing on the behalf of the comedian. To make someone laugh, as another comedian puts it, “is a preposterous thing. I am forcing you to have an involuntary reaction to something I say.” Professional comedians (like Louis C.K.) are experts at combining these skills and generating humorous ideas for our enjoyment, and indeed – making us laugh. How is a joke set in motion within the brain networks of a professional humor maker?
Let’s play a game. One of the quotes below belongs to a trained soldier speaking of killing the enemy, while the other to a convicted felon describing his first murder. Can you tell the difference?
(1) ‘I realised that I had just done something that separated me from the human race and it was something that could never be undone. I realised that from that point on I could never be like normal people.’
(2) ‘I was cool, calm and collected the whole time. I knew what I had to do. I knew I was going to do it, and I did.’
I would like to express my upmost gratitude for the vast amount of receptors you possess. Among my favorites – the practical ones that allow me to find keys at the bottom of my large jet-black bag, the emergency ones that warn me the fajita plate is searing, and those truly special ones that enable me to feel my lover’s caress and help me achieve orgasm…
Such would begin a letter of appreciation to a physical sense of great importance, exquisitely described in the book Touch: The Science of Hand, Heart, and Mind.