The moment the comedian begins to question his or herself and realizes that others have lived through similar experiences, the comedian's got the makings of a punchline. Inner humor begins, a process of humorous development within the broader context of personality development.
The drama of inner seeking, figuring out the world, feeling anguish, questioning the meaning of human existence, testing one's values and ideals, growing in empathy and understanding of others - these are the elements that encompass the threads through which humor is woven.
Comedy falls into two concepts: (1) development potential, and (2) multilevelness. Development potential refers to the initial endowment that is humorous in an individual. The stronger the endowment, the greater the potential for advanced development (among other things). How it will be delivered depends on the life of the comedian and personality traits he or she has picked up along the way. Weaker endowment means that the comedian better have a really good personality otherwise known as Plan B.
Multilevelness presents the bold idea that comedic experience varies according to level or type of development. Human emotions, motivations, values, desires, and behaviors are expressed in strikingly different ways. For example, high brow humor could be experienced as feeling superior, defeating an opponent, succeeding by cunning, or from the feeling of power when cleverly manipulating others.
But to many people, such laughter that arises would be offensive because of its disregard for others. A different kind of humor would be the laughter that a joke evokes due to nostalgia, overcoming bad habits, self-discovery, creativity and inspiration, or being able to make another feel better (healing power of humor). In the first case, the laughter is egocentric, self-serving, self-protecting, and power-seeking. In the second case, the humor arises from respect and empathy towards others, from positive changes in oneself, and from expansive feelings of a higher order. The first case represents laughter at a low emotional level; the second case represents laughter on a high emotional level.
Talents, specific abilities, and high general intelligence constitute the initial and most obvious comedic component. Overexcitabilities or sensitivities to energetic fluctuations constitute the second comedic component. The sensitivity and capacityt o be intensely stimulated, and to stay stimulated, provide fuel for the development of comedic genius.
Another component is the capacity for self-directed comedic growth, self-determination, and autonomy. Though admittedly, this component may not be present in all comedians.
There are five forms of comedic overexcitability: psychomotor, sensual, intellectual, imaginational, and emotional. Each have a wide range of expressions. The forms of comedic overexcitability appear to be necessary - but not sufficient - raw material for advanced, multilevel comedic development.
Comedic overexcitability means that life is experienced in a manner that is deeper, more vivid, and more acutely sensed. This does not mean that one experiences more curiosity, sensory enjoyment, imagination, and emotion, it is just that the experience of living is perceived as funny in its complexity. Comedy is therefore a richly textured quality.
Comedic overexcitabilities impart an intense aliveness to those who experience them. They may be thought of as distinct modes of experiencing or as comedic channels through which the flow of color tones, textures, insights, visions, emotional currents and energies of experience connect cables that pull on funny strings embedded deep within the person. Rather than wearing rabbit ear antennas limited to local channels only, this comedic mindset has wifi-like abilities to connect with humor on a larger scale.
- Psychomotor - movement, restlessness, drivenness, and augmented capacity for being active, energetic, tuned in, and poised for humor
- Sensual - enhanced refinement and aliveness of sensual experience
- Intellectual - thirst for knowledge, discovery, questioning, love of ideas - especially funny ones - and theoretical analysis, search for truth
- Imaginational - vividness of imagery, richness of comedic association, facility for dreams, fantasies, and inventions, endowing tows and other objects with personality (animism), preference for the unusual and unique
- Emotional - great depth and intensity of emotional life expressed in a wide range of feelings, great happiness to profound sadness or despair, compassion, responsibility, self-examination
Intensified activity of the Mind