How important is a sense of humour?

by Angelo Marcus

As someone who's been involved in comedy for about a hundred years now, the question I've been asked most is "Do women want a man with a sense of humour". 

Actually that's a lie. 

The question I've been asked most is "Sir, you're making a scene, could you please leave?", and even then it was asked less as a question and more as a thinly-veiled threat. 

But I’m digressing.  Back to the point, do women want a man with a sense of humour?
 
Well, its a pretty simple question with a pretty simple answer:

Nope.

End of conversation, yep? Well not exactly, because like all simple answers, if you scratch the surface it does get a bit more complicated. 
 
Women don't want a man with a sense of humour, women prefer a man with a sense of humour.
 
So this means that if the choice is between Brad "sense of humour and a joke book" Pitt, or Brad "clinical depression and a handgun" Pitt, then it's more likely that the funny version will get picked.

 

(The more observant of you will notice that in either case she still gets to date Brad Pitt. If the choice was between Brad Pitt with clinical depression, or Ken Dodd with an hour of comedy gold, I think we know which way the jury would go... )

So the good news is that having a sense of humour is a plus, the bad news is that it doesn't necessarily compensate for lacking in other areas. And this applies whether you're trying to attract women or men by the way - it doesn't matter if you're gay or straight where 'not finding someone funny' is concerned...

Don't believe me that a sense of humour doesn’t compensate for other areas?  Then try the following experiment.

Buy space for two personal ads. In one, describe yourself as a male underwear model who's pretty antisocial and likes mirrors.  In the other, describe yourself as an ugly fat guy and include a joke about it. Maybe throw in a 'LOL' for good measure too.

If you get even one response to the second advert, it’s because someone dared their friend to do it.

Don't get me wrong, a sense of humour is important - nobody wants to be with someone who's miserable all the time.  It’s just not the most important attribute to have. 

 

Plus, as important as it is to make people laugh, there has to be a limit. There’s a fine line between being the life and soul of the party, and being that annoying guy that keeps making bad jokes about the cutlery. Pretty soon you find yourself being referred to as 'that nob'. And 'that nob' always goes home alone at the end of the night.

There's also a distinction between having a sense of humour and having a good sense of humour. It's all very well making jokes about stuff, but if they consist of 'Knock Knock' and 'Why did the chicken?' jokes then most people would prefer to be with someone who doesn't even try. It's less embarrassing in social situations.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that there are exceptions to all this - obviously not everyone in the world is the same, and so a turn on for one person may be a turn off for another. Plus, all comedy is subjective anyway - how can you even define what a 'good' sense of humour is? 

All this is true, which is why I reckon it makes much more sense to try to find someone who has the same sense of humour as you, rather than trying to beat someone into submission with punch lines in the hope they'll like you. That probably sounds a bit rich coming from a comedian, but I'm talking about romantic relationships here, not being on stage.

So it's...um...different. 

In a way. 

Let's move on...

Another thing to bear in mind is that making your date laugh is all very well, but there will definitely come a point where you want the laughter to stop – if only for your own self-esteem. Making him or her laugh in the bar is all very well, but the laughter continuing as you undress in the bedroom isn't so nice.

Trust me. 

It happened to...um...someone that’s not me.

Tell you what, let's move on again...

The last point I want to make is probably the most important.  Whether you're funny or not, whether you make jokes all the time or can only see the serious side of life, please, please, whatever you do, don't be 'wacky'.

 

You know what I mean by this, and I guarantee you know an example of who I mean too.  Anyone that says 'Ex-squeeze me' or wears rainbow ties to work counts as 'wacky'. And where relationships are concerned, 'that nob' gets more action than the wacky guy.

 
And don't even think about adopting a 'wacky' catchphrase either. The date might be brilliant, but if you end it with 'smell you later, stinkface', it's all over. Or even if it isn't over - let’s say she thinks it’s a funny phrase and you end up getting married and having kids - what if ten years from now you die on the way to work? Do you really want a wacky, unfunny phrase as your last words? Not a great legacy to leave the kids.

So in conclusion, the vast majority of people would prefer to date someone with a sense of humour, but its not the only thing they'll be looking for.

 

Be nice, be interesting, be yourself.

Just don't, under any circumstances, be wacky.

Contributor Blurb: Follow the amusing musings of Angelo Marcos on twitter @theangelomarcos. His tweets are guaranteed to produce some roll-on-floor-laughings.

Your Comments