Humor at Someone’s Expense

Much of what passes for humor in society are putdowns of somebody. The essence of them could be simplified to:

Somebody’s not OK. Haha!

For example, blonde jokes have been popular for quite a while. The essence of most them could be simplified to:

Blondes are not OK. Haha!

People’s nationalities are sometimes the subject of jokes. Polish jokes are a common example of this kind of joke. The essence of most of them could be simplified to:

Polish people are not OK. Haha!

People’s occupations are sometimes the subject of jokes. Lawyer jokes are a common example of this kind of joke. The essence of most of them could be simplified to:

Lawyers are not OK. Haha!

If nobody in the conversation is part of the group that is the subject of the joke, the essence of the joke could be simplified to:

They’re not OK. Haha!

If one or more people in the conversation are part of the group that is the subject of the joke, the essence of the joke could be simplified to:

You’re not OK. Haha!

If the person telling the joke is part of the group that is the subject of the joke, the essence of the joke could be simplified to:

We’re not OK. Haha!

Sometimes, a person will tell a joke in which he or she is the subject of the joke. Phyllis Diller and Rodney Dangerfield were famous for this type of humor. The essence of that style of joke could be simplified to:

I’m not OK. Haha!

Some transactions are not specifically phrased as jokes, but still follow the formula of:

Somebody’s not OK. Haha!

Sarcasm often follows this formula.

If we really felt OK about ourselves, would we ever need to make somebody not OK?