You know that friend that makes you do a spit-take every other time they open their mouth?
What is it about them that cracks everyone up and keeps you all in stitches?
It’s not like they’re a professional comedian, either. They just seem to have… something.
I guess some of us are born to be funny, just like others are born to be serious, excitable, or melancholy.
But what is it that really makes a person hilarious without even trying?
Well, if someone has these six traits, they’re a naturally funny person and just have a wonderful talent for making everyone chortle, snort, and cackle.
1) They have an infectious laugh.
A new kid joined our class when I was in the sixth grade.
Trevor was chubby, dumpy, and slobbily dressed. He had thick glasses and a weird haircut and just seemed like the kind of kid everyone was going to make fun of.
But that never happened.
Instead, he was instantly everyone’s favorite person.
When the teacher made him stand up and introduce himself to the class, he told us about himself and made some silly little joke that wasn’t all that funny.
But he laughed, and when he did, the class exploded.
His laugh was seriously outrageous! It was like a rooster crowing and a dog barking mixed with an asthmatic wheeze.
There was no way you could hear it and not laugh, too.
But we weren’t laughing at him. We were sharing the pure joy that this strange sound elicited.
He laughed, which made us laugh. That made him laugh more, and soon, even the teacher was in hysterics. I mean, seriously crying, she was laughing so hard.
No, Trevor never got made fun of. Everyone wanted him around and tried to make him laugh as much as possible so we could all lose ourselves in an expression of pure comic joy.
2) They’re smart.
They related that people with great senses of humor had higher IQs across the board than people who didn’t get jokes.
That’s simple proof that people who are naturally funny are also intelligent.
Well, it makes sense because it takes a certain amount of cleverness to be able to construct jokes and tell funny stories that string listeners along.
Otherwise, you end up with jokes that don’t make sense, like my friend’s 1989 classic:
One duck asks another duck if he wants to have a shower.
The duck says, “What am I, a typewriter!?”
Mmmmm, yeah, I still don’t get it.
3) They’re creative.
No doubt about it, my friend’s joke was creative, even if it didn’t make any sense.
(Seriously, am I missing something here? He used to laugh and laugh…)
That same 1972 study found an equally strong correlation between creativity and sense of humor.
So not only do you have to be intelligent to be really funny, but you also have to be able to create new things.
That explains why comedians are always writing material that really pushes boundaries and exploring new and unusual situations.
I’m talking about zombie comedy movies and stand-up routines about cabbages here.
You have to be pretty creative to be able to spin these things into comedy gold!
4) They’re perceptive.
People who are naturally funny are also some of the most perceptive people you’d ever meet.
It’s their ability to pick up on things that other people don’t see that really sets them apart.
There are so many great observational comics out there that can turn regular, everyday parts of life into utter hilarity.
I’m thinking about things like the legendary show Seinfeld, a show that was admittedly about nothing but which was also one of the funniest things ever produced on television.
People who are naturally funny have this uncanny ability to look at a normal situation and see the humor in it that the rest of us simply don’t.
5) They have a certain, as the French say, love of life.
A lot of comedy can get pretty dark and grim.
But at the same time, it is comedy, and that means there’s always a lighter side to it – a funnier side.
Even a comedian who seems depressed or totally unhappy can still manage to find something to laugh at in their situation.
People who are naturally funny just have an indomitable spirit that shines through no matter how far down in the dumps they are. And this shows their love of life.
They essentially see the world as a playground or a place to laugh and enjoy, and that makes them able to laugh at and make light of even the saddest or darkest subjects.
6) They can laugh at themselves.
If you can’t take a joke, you’re almost certainly not great at dishing them out, either.
And this runs both ways.
A naturally funny person sees the humor in everything, and that means their own life and situation as well, or maybe even more than what’s outside of them.
Sure, a lot of self-deprecating humor is used as a tool to protect oneself from bullying or being hurt by others, but that’s not usually the case with these funny people.
Their jokes about themselves are real observations and true feelings that they truly find hilarious.
They’re not laughing to insult themselves – they’re laughing because they’re actually very self-aware and they actually think some of the things they do are funny.
They can also take a joke from others because they ultimately don’t take themselves too seriously.
Are people born funny? I’ve never really seen a funny baby, but there are some hilarious toddlers out there who seem to have a natural gift for making others laugh.
If someone has these six traits I’ve mentioned, you already know they’re naturally funny, and they might even be the sort of person who’s destined for comedic greatness!a