Institut Humor Indonesia Kini (IHIK)

Kajian Humor Indonesia dan Mancanegara

Funny Haha

FUNNY

Funny Haha: The Philosophy of Laughter in Three Easy Chapters (Plus One) Paperback – November 1, 2016 by Jayme Mitsche (Author)

Laughter itself might really be a funny thing. For, while we all laugh and some of us would even prefer nothing else to laughing, nobody seems to quite know what laughter itself is. And this is puzzling. So far, humans are known as the only animals who laugh and who are in need of laughter; and we do so in many ways and for a host of reasons. Yet, none of the great minds have ever managed to say once and for all what laughter is, in its essence. But that is about to change. In “Funny Haha: The Philosophy of Laughter in Three Easy Chapters Plus One,” you will learn that laughter is nothing but the physical reaction of understanding. This proposition is validated by the observation that of all human physical reactions, only laughter depends strictly on understanding. As the pivotal premise of the book, this paves the way for a systematic discussion of the constitutive elements of the “comedic” and the “comical” as expressed in what in real-life situations, as well as on the stage, is considered to be “funny,” and consequently makes you laugh. Building on a conceptual distinction of the concepts above, an original philosophical examination is put forward that sheds light on what exactly goes on, for instance, when you laugh at getting tickled, when you laugh to yourself, and on why we all tend to find it “funny” when somebody falls. Drawing on examples from popular comedies such as Nathan for You, Silicon Valley, The Big Bang Theory, and Seinfeld, and on comedy acts like those of Chris Rock, John Oliver or Joan Rivers, a philosophical bridge is projected from real-life situations to staged funniness and jocularity. Thus, a comprehensive philosophical understanding emerges of what it means to be funny-haha. And, at the same time, a methodic analysis is provided of the techniques that give funny-haha its essence. After reading this book you will get to know yourself, maybe not better but a bit deeper. For you will have developed an individual consciousness of what is it that makes you laugh and what for you is haha-funny. And that might even make you more human.

Biography

Jayme Mitsche is an American writer from Brooklyn. He studied at New York University, where he received an MPhil, and at The Graduate School of CUNY, where he received his Ph.D. He specializes in the philosophy of Modern Individual Self-consciousness that emerged with the Enlightenment in Europe, as exemplified by the autobiographical writings of Montaigne, Goethe, Rousseau and Torres de Villarroel, on whom he wrote his doctoral dissertation. For some years, he taught Spanish, literature, and writing at colleges in New York City and New Jersey.

Born in Santo Domingo, he has lived in Switzerland and Germany and has intensively traveled through Latin American and Spain. Besides English and Spanish, his primary “father” tongues, he speaks French, Italian and German. His hobbies are reading, dancing, cooking, and yoga. While refusing to call himself a poet, he is also prolific and fluent in poetry.

His writing reflects his commitment to fostering a critical understanding of contemporary society. Hence the attention his writing pays to fashion, the place of techno-gadgetry in society, sex-based politics, sexuality, gender-relations and pornography, and to the arts. His original approach to these themes is comprised into a Critical Philosophy of Contemporary Life.

He lives in New York City, alone, with the pictures of his two dead dogs.

Product details

A funny, insightful take on comedy and laughter

ByRoving revieweron December 7, 2016

l read very few books that I feel like recommending to anybody. But this is the first time in years (if ever) I’ve read a book with “the philosophy of” in its title that actually delivers. This book is clear, direct and concise — and yet it is also unexpectedly profound. To give only two examples, I learned of the deep correlation of laughter to philosophy and to some of the greatest philosophers from Democritus to Nietzsche, and how through philosophy laughter correlates to high art. But I also learned what makes some of my favorite comedy series, like Silicon Valley and Nathan for You, so terrifically hilarious. As someone who loves to laugh and appreciates great humor, I couldn’t be more delighted that somebody has come along who takes comedy so seriously that he decided to write a book on the subject.

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