Hello, hubmasters. I'm relatively new to HubPages. I try to include humor in most of my hubs, but there are two where I've specifically targeted the funny bone.
In the following two linked hubs I strive to present useful information in a funny (hopefully hilarious) manner. Please let me know what you think, and whether or not you feel my sarcasm could alienate people.
If Light Bulbs Were Human, Cold Cathode Compact Fluorescents Would Be Mountain Men
A Satirical Yet Sincere Look at Choosing the Right Light Bulb
I didn't find it hilarious, but I think your instinct to have an over-arching metaphor to bind the information in a more accessible way is good. But you don't STICK with your metaphor. You start (and title it) with a mountain man metaphor and then almost immediately go into food metaphor/simile and even to magic and dragon's fire, before coming back to mountain men again.
Stick to one, and then make direct comparisons of a feature/function of your light bulb to a feature/function of a mountain man. Organized in such a way, you can use the imagery of the mountaineer to cement your reader's understanding of what you want them to learn. Taking a moment here and there to make fun cross-over puns as you transition from one idea to the next.
Hope this helps.
Welcome to HubPages!
To answer your original question, I am of the understanding that if you are creating more humor about sensitive topics, then your reader isn't likely to learn anything.
No one learns anything from comics or comedians, except how to laugh.
Thank you for the response, but I would encourage you to read the hubs I linked and then answer my question.
What about George Carlin and guys like him? I think that the GOOD comedians, the deep and philosophical and observant ones can teach a great deal.
And if you count plays where comedy is performed, what about Shakespeare and even as far back as Aristophanes?
Hey Shades, no one learned anything really from George Carlin, because had they, America wouldn't be in the situation it is now. But, thank you for your input on my comment.
Also, George Carlin was the best at pointing out what is wrong with this country, but when he was done and people left the arena, all they took with them was the laughter. Therefore, nothing was really learned. Again, thank you. It was nice to see you again.
The hubs I did not find humorous.
They were informative, just not funny.
On a side note, I think you need to make some adjustments to your secondary link.
(a) You need to make it longer, if possible. A good size for hubs minimum would be about 400+ words, but the best optimum size is 1000+ words.
(b) You could also use more keywords/tags on it as well. The average hub that is about 9-15 keywords/tags. If you have a hub that is 1500+ words or longer then you can have more keywords/tags.
Well, not dry. Not very funny, and honestly a little hard to read. Too much erudite wordage. Dumb it down.
But humor is hard. Some people clicked "funny" - if they were not friends, they obviously thought you were funny.
Everybody has their own thing. Almost every man I know thinks The Three Stooges were hilarious. Most women think they were idiotic. I side with the women. So you shouldn't let my opinion of your humor stop you.
Thanks. I never fail to be amazed by how disparate senses of humor can be; it's just impossible to amuse everyone at the same time.
Ironically I too am not amused by The Three Stooges.
I think there are some lines in your hubs that are funny, and you've packed in a lot of information there, too. Mixing humor with education is a great idea, and your hubs can be extraordinary with a bit of work.
The problem is organization. Everything runs together. The hodgepodge of humor and facts makes your reader tend to skim rather than read closely, and thus miss lots of good stuff.
The reader coming from the search engines wants primarily to learn; if he is hit by your flippant tone straight away, he's liable to think, "I don't have time for this," and flee.
Hubs should NOT be an equal (50/50) mix of entertainment and problem-solving. They should lean toward one or the other; otherwise you'll confuse the reader primarily wanting either answers or to be entertained. (Each of us gets in "I'm bored" mode and "I need help!" mode, but not usually at the same time.)
For the most money-making potential, put the emphasis on problem-solving and make the humor secondary. The humor should facilitate reading, not interfere with it.
The fix? Mostly cosmetic changes. Reordering things. Splitting things up. Changing the layout. Using strong headers. Take advantage of the incredible layout features HubPages offers.
For example, try overhauling the layout of your "choosing the right light bulb" hub. Try displaying it like a textbook or magazine layout, complete with interesting asides off to the sidebar in bite-sized capsules (like the opening line). Use headers that are primarily informative, and only amusing if the humor doesn't interfere with the "This is the section where you learn this" message. Make sure the sections make logical sense.
The other thing I'd recommend is that you work on your timing with the humor. You can do dryness and irony just fine - but the timing of the delivery is somewhat off, and all it takes is being a smidge off for the humor to fall flat.
For instance, your line below could be very funny:
"Incandescent light bulbs have been around a long time. For some reason, in all those long hundred years no one thought 'I wonder if we could change this so it doesn't light houses on fire.'"
But it needs a bit of tweaking to have enough impact to get a laugh.
Here are some examples that are not perfect, but have a stronger lead-in:
"Incandescent light bulbs have been around a while. Apparently it took a century for some brainiac to get around to asking, 'Hey, why not design 'em so they don't light the house on fire?'"
"Incandescent light bulbs aren't new. No, people lived with these things almost a hundred years before they ever thought, "Eureka! Let's make some light bulbs that DON'T light houses on fire!"
Incandescent light bulbs have lit homes with their bright, warm glow for over a hundred years. This was a good and bad thing. Good, because the light was warm and cozy. Bad, because homes occasionally lit up in flames. Eventually people cottoned on to the problem and said, "Hmmm, what about a source of light that's more about bright than warm?" Fire departments and insurance companies thanked them.
That said, I agree that humor really is a very individual thing.
Fiction Teller, thank you! I very much appreciate you taking the time to provide me with these pointers. Your comments about timing and organization are well-received.
I will be reviewing my hubs in a new light (pun not intended).
I must depart for the nonce, but I will return on the morrow and read your short story!
Nope.. didn't laugh too much.. but I'm a poor judge of humor so what do i know?
One suggestion though... I would change the line underneath the pic of the hot model to read...
If a standard light bulb can light her up, how much more satisfied would she be with a CFL man??
Not funny. Nothing about it was funny.
The information is good though. It was hard to sort through the extra verbiage to get to it, but it was good information.
I think that humor comes best when you are not meaning to be humorous, when the story unravels and has humorous qualities beyond the telling of the story. It is the ease and easy that makes you chuckle.
Whenever I try to be funny, I usually fail. But if I tell a story, it almost always comes with humor.
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