Humor is like a language with many dialects, and each dialect is a different path to laughter. Perhaps you’re proficient in several dialects, but then there are the other stranger dialects that leave you bewildered. You just don’t get it and the joke passes you by, or perhaps you understand what the “joke” is, but it doesn’t make you laugh because it’s just not your sense of humor.
People are all a bit different as to what tickles their funny bone. Some TV shows hit that special mix of physical and verbal comedy that speaks to just about everyone (e.g. I Love Lucy). But most of the time humor falls into a specific niche or style that appeals to certain types of people—and if you’re not that type of person then it’s not funny…at all.
There’s a lot that doesn’t make me laugh. There have been TV sitcoms that I have watched stone-faced as the actors give their lines, only to pull no chuckles from me. (The biggest response they may have gotten from me is a roll of my eyes at their stupidity.) Other people may find the TV show hilarious, but the “humor” they’re offering to me just isn’t funny to me and I’m somewhat astounded that people like the show (and that it’s popular).
So I’m always surprisingly pleased when I find something that makes me laugh because it means that someone is thinking like me and finding the things I find funny funny. Everyone wants to laugh, but humor can be a difficult thing to achieve because either you get it or you don’t. But it’s pretty simple: whatever makes you laugh is funny and whatever doesn’t isn’t.