I read this morning in a comment from Richard Howe in which he wrote that "family value moral minded politicians" are, like beauty, in the eye of the beholder.
I would say ditto for comedy.
I respectfully disagreed with an opinion about 'The Hangover' last night and got some of the 'lighten up and stop overthinking it, would ya?' and 'I don't go to comedy movies looking for deep meaning' type of responses, which are all well and good, except they don't address the chance that some people might disagree on what they find funny.
For the record, I believe that ethnic humor and slapstick are VERY funny, but only in the right context.
Ethnic humor is funny when put into a witty context, as exemplified most masterfully by much of what Chris Rock does in his stand-up routines. It's not funny, however, (to me, anyway) when someone says, "Hey Wasserstein, go pick that quarter up off the ground!" It's not my sense of political correctness that's offended by that, it's my sense of humor!
Slapstick can be very funny, too, but it doesn't work for me in and of itself. A 93 year-0ld lady falling on ice just isn't funny to me. It's not my sensitivity for elderly women that's offended by that, it's my sense of humor!
Bestiality is never funny. Again, that's an opinion and nothing more. I have very good friends who are repulsed by ANY form of bathroom humor, which is more or less a staple in any of my 'homemade' routines. My lack of laughter at bestiality doesn't come from any sensitivity to animals, by the way, but from a sensitivity to what meets my definition of 'funny'!
Insta-humor, as I define it, is when an entire joke or gag depends on just saying a word or showing something devoid of context. Examples from recent stand-up routines would include: Crack, Spam, Viagra, and Ebonics.
Another really good example of insta-humor is when people think something becomes funny just because it somehow involves midgets. Please bear in mind, I'm not saying midgets can't be funny, it's just that something otherwise not-funny does not suddenly become hysterical just because it involves a person who's less than four feet tall.
For the record, I'm not a fan of the boilerplate workplace stuff, either. So when someone says any of these, I meet them with a blank stare:
You don't have to be crazy to work here, but it helps!
I pretend to work, they pretend to pay me...
Are we hard at work, or hardly working?
Of course, my blank stare is met with a poke to the ribs and a "It's a joke man, have a laugh." That's the same blank stare I'd give, by the way, to someone who said, "Would you like pancakes with that syrup?" thinking there was some kind of original wit contained therein.
What the person doesn't realize is that yes, maybe the attempt at humor is being recognized, but simultaneously dismissed.
I'll respect your right to laugh at bestiality, stock ethnic stuff, and old ladies falling on ice all day long...to me, that's no different than you liking the cheddar-stuffed Combos while I reach for the Fritos.
And when I crack up hysterically at the Michael Moore v. Peter Griffin farting scene on a Family Guy episode, and you don't even crack a smile, I'll promise not to say you're "overthinking it."