l draw every day. I draw to make myself laugh. While laughter is my primary goal, I also have a secondary goal—to learn what makes some drawings funnier than others.
After more than 10 years on this vital quest, I have some preliminary findings to share with you. Here, in no particular order, are 7 ways to make a drawing funny or a funny drawing funnier.
1. Add frowzy hair.
A drawing of a funny character with disheveled hair will always be funnier than the same character with sheveled hair. I don't understand the science, but it's true every time.
2. Let animals wear glasses.
A drawing of a funny animal will always be funnier if the animal is wearing glasses. Adding eye glasses also increases the comic value of aliens, demons, trolls, gargoyles, and monsters. Further study is needed of the hilarity of goggles, monocles, and sun glasses. (Perhaps I could I get a grant?)
3. Employ a monkey.
I subscribe to the vintage notion that monkeys are inherently funny. It doesn't much matter what they are doing, I'm amused.
4. Upgrade the wardrobe
A demon or monster drawing is always a little funnier when the demon or monster is wearing a suit and necktie. It’s also pretty funny to put a monster in a fancy dress uniform. But for pure comedy gold, nothing seems to beat argyle. Based on my research, no creature can be taken seriously wearing an argyle-patterned sweater.
5. Consider headgear.
Funny hats invariably add humor. Someone wearing a fez is silly. Anyone wearing a crown is even funnier. My preliminary findings suggest, a viking helmet with horns is probably the funniest, especially if the helmet doesn’t fit properly.
6. Add a Snidely Whiplash moustache.
All creatures look funnier when they are sporting a thin, elegant, up-turned mustache.
7. Add a Groucho mask.
The classic Groucho mask with bushy eyebrows, bold glasses, a strong nose and an emphatic cookie-duster mustache is probably the artist's most reliable tool. Everything is funnier when you add Groucho glasses.
Some people would argue that overuse of the Groucho mask diminishes its power. But, so far, I haven’t found that to be the case. Instead, when you try to overdo it, the laughs just get bigger. (But that might just be my opinion.)
Even relatively un-comic vegetables are funny when they sport Groucho glasses.
This is not the end of my research. I believe there must be other methods to increase comic effect. Clearly further study is needed of falling anvils, excessively long tongues, and polka-dotted boxer shorts. Therefore, I vow to continue my daily experiments daily. I will follow the Science.
If you want to encourage research in specific areas, let me know. (But remember that I can’t reply directly to comments to this blog.)
Don—July 21, 2022