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What tickles your funny bone?

9:14 AM, Mar 13, 2012   |    comments
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2012 Laughfest

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - We all have different triggers that tickle our funny bone, and LaughFest is providing a comedian to tickle just about everyone.

You'll find everything from clean to R-rated humor, so what makes certain people laugh, but not others?  We caught up with a local psychiatrist who specializes in laughter to find out.

Dr. Carolyn King, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health, says there's a lot of factors that go into making something funny. She says it's a science. She says the main thing to know is that things that are common to everybody are funny to everybody. Take, for instance, blonde jokes. (Most anyway).

Traffic Reporter Dave Kaechele finds "Weekend at Bernie's" as the funnies movie ever.  Some agreed....some did not at all.

So, who makes you laugh?

People have a variety of answers...from family to actors to politicians.  Then, what is it that makes Rush Limbaugh or Whoopi Goldberg funny to some, but offensive others?

"Delivery, timing and props are all part of it, but it has to be something you can relate to," said Dr. King.

Dr. King is one heck of a smiley person. She keeps her colleagues on their toes and writes a laughter blog.  She refers to the performance she saw of Bill Cosby at last year's LaughFest when she talks about someone many people can relate to.

"His stories were about life...and that again is the common human condition. It was hilarious. You felt at ease, you felt comfortable. For younger people, sometimes they need a faster comedian," she said.

But is there an actual funny bone in our body? Something biological that determines what we think is funny?

"I don't recall seeing an identified chromosomal location for funniness," Dr. King said.

She says it's who you grow up with -- your friends and your parents --who will determine who you think is funny.

"Your environment shapes what's funny to you," she said.

Many of our morning viewers know Dave loves to try and add humor to his on-air routine, so we brought in a local comedian, Matt Lauria, to help Dave improve his delivery a little bit.

You can catch the clip in the attached video.

Lauria will perform at Laughfest Tuesday and Thursday night.
He'll be part of the Homegrown Comedy Show at Pyramid Scheme Tuesday at 8 p                                                                

Then on Thursday, Lauria is hosting the College Comedy Show at Mcfadden's Restaurant at 8 p.m.

Here's a link to Dr. King's Laughter Blog.

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